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10 Beautiful Libraries And Bookshops Around The World

Posted: 12/29/11 08:00 AM ET

Sightseeing is an essential part of traveling. While museums and monuments are the staples that tourists visit in many cities, there are many more buildings that are worth seeing. Whether you are a bookworm or not, libraries are often distinguished architectural landmarks and can provide deeper insights not only into a country's literature, but also its culture and history as a whole. Moreover, what's great is that, more often than not, they are open to the public. Here are 10 libraries worth visiting on your travels.

Biblioteca Nacional de España - Madrid, Spain
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The National Library of Spain didn't always carry the name of National Library. It was founded by Felipe V at the end of 1711 and opened its doors in March of 1712 as the "royal public library." In 1836, it passed from being royal property to belonging to the government, and then, first became known as the National Library of all of Spain. As is the case with the national library in Paris, this building is also an exhibition space and houses temporary exhibitions that are open to all.

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