Klementinum national library

Klementinum named world’s most beautiful library

in Culture by

Time-wasting portal Bored Panda singles out the Baroque hall of the National Library

OK, so BoredPanda.com isn’t exactly the New York Times or National Geographic. But it does have a fair amount of readers for its photo essays and listicles — that’s newspeak for list-based articles — that are a quick break from office monotony.

It has declared that “The World’s Most Beautiful Library is in Prague, Czech Republic,” referring to the Klementinum.

The site last year had a list of 25 of the world’s most beautiful libraries, and these were the ranked as the result of a vote.

That list identified the Klementinum as the National Library of Prague, which is partly true. There is more to the National Library than just the Baroque library hall, though.

Why a year after the top 25 list, there is a new article declaring the Klementinum as number one isn’t clear.

The brief three-paragraph article, with several nice pictures of the Klementinum, does not say if there was another vote, or if this is just to remind people of last year’s article — and drive web traffic to the site’s archive. In one day, the article had 85,000 views.

The author, identified only as Dainius, gives a nice history of the room, even pointing out that some of the 20,000 rare books will soon be available free online via Google’s book scanning project.

In the comments some people said they were amazed. “This library is far beyond anything that I ever expected. This library is absolutely gorgeous! It’s officially on my bucket list of countries I’d like to visit. Great post!” one person said.

Another simply commented, “Heaven.”

One Gloomy Gus-ette pointed out that the room is not actually accessible. “been there, done that— it doesn’t like that amazing in real life, plus u cant go past the door or touch anything , let alone use any book.. there s a barrier,” someone named Kristina said. Her spelling, grammar and punctuation did, however, point out the ongoing need for functioning libraries.

Still, any number one ranking in a category that does not involve stag parties and daily binge drinking is welcome.

The site did not mention the other winners, but did refer back to its previous coverage if people want to see more beautiful libraries.

The other libraries included Trinity College in Dublin; Biblioteca Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura, in Rio De Janeiro; The Admont Library in Admont, Austria; and George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland.

There has been an effort to build a new National Library, and a very modern building was proposed, but the plan to build the Blob seems dead for the moment. Likely, it would not have made this list.

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