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10 Libraries That Every Booklover MUST Visit Before They Die

“For me, libraries are the most beautiful environments in the world.”

Posted on August 21, 2018, at 5:51 p.m. ET

Italian photographer Massimo Listri has spent his career capturing some of the most magnificent and unexpected interiors in the world. His signature style of large-scale and highly detailed pictures is most often shot without a single person in the frame, allowing viewers to fully immerse themselves within the magnitude of details that each space offers. For his new book, The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries, Listri has traveled the world to capture the interiors of 55 libraries in 16 countries — places that the artist describes as “cathedrals of knowledge.”

Taschen Books

For Listri, these are spaces that have a special meaning. “I’ve been photographing architecture and interiors since I was 18 years old,” Listri told BuzzFeed News, “but I’m also a bibliophile — everything about libraries attracts me. The smell of dust, the wood, the leather, the curiosity to open every book.”

“For me, libraries are the most beautiful environments in the world,” Listri goes on. “In addition to objective beauty, you also find a continuation and conservation of knowledge. I hope people walk away with a sense of curiosity and surprise that these cathedrals of knowledge can incite.”

Here are some of the mesmerizing libraries featured in The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries.

Stiftsbibliothek Sankt Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland

Massimo Listri / Taschen

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland

Massimo Listri / Taschen

Biblioteca do Convento de Mafra, Mafra, Portugal

Massimo Listri / Taschen

Klosterbibliothek Metten, Metten, Germany

Massimo Listri / Taschen

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome, Italy

Massimo Listri / Taschen

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, France

Massimo Listri / Taschen

Stiftsbibliothek Admont, Admont, Austria

Massimo Listri / Taschen

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, Portugal

Massimo Listri / Taschen

Rijksmuseum, Research Library, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Massimo Listri / Taschen

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Massimo Listri / Taschen

To learn more about Massimo Listri: The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries and to pick your copy, visit

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.