World-class attractions usually come with a steep price tag to see the best artwork, architecture and volumes of rare books. Or you can go and see the one attraction you’re missing out on in nearly every city: the library.
Libraries around the world are outfitted with rare collectibles, paintings and feats of architecture. And you can see it all for free.
New York Public Library
The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, more likely known as the New York Public Library, features Beaux-Arts style of architecture, sweeping halls and works you won’t find anywhere else. The library was once the largest marble building ever constructed. Expect to see works from Horatio Alger, the earliest known copy of Nican Mopohua, historical Staten Island postcards and the stunning Children’s Room.
Trinity College Old Library, Dublin, Ireland
Situated in the heart of Dublin, the Old Library and the Book of Kells features 18th-century construction and a rare 9th-century gospel manuscript. As one of Ireland’s greatest treasures, the Book of Kells features an illuminated manuscript Gospel book written in Latin. Take a guided tour for a chance to glean insights from the 400-year-old college, traditions and life today.
Central Library of Vancouver, Canada
Visitors do a double-take when they see the impressive Central Library of Vancouver resembling The Colosseum in Rome. This postmodern structure was built in 1955 and features more than 55 works of local artists, Programming includes Indigenous Storyteller in Residence, workshops on clothing repair and Adding DNA to your Genealogy and Family History Roots.
There’s a library in just about every big city worth seeing. Make it part of your itinerary for a free attraction with events, programming, author readings and guided tours.
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