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10 Most Beautiful Libraries Around Europe

10 Most Beautiful Libraries Around Europe

Reading and relaxing in a cosy and well-equipped library is one of the best things life offers. In these 10 beautiful European libraries, the experience will be extra marvellous.

1. Trinity College Library: Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College, Dublin

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    With its dark wood paneling and high arched ceiling, this stunning scholarly library is also known to be the largest in Ireland. It is also known as a “copyright library,” which gives it rights to acquire material published in the country without any cost. This library is also home to the Book of Kells, a beautifully illustrated manuscript containing the four gospels in Latin believed to have been created in 800 AD.

    2. Bibliotheue Nationale de France: Paris, France

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      The National Library of France has expanded its collection within the last few decades, since it was established in 1461. The older building that was completed in 1868 on the Rue de Richelieu is still in use and not to be missed. Once the largest library in the world, this title remains no longer. Nonetheless, it is still impressive with collections like 5,000 Greek manuscripts and an impressive staff of 2,700.

      3. Clementinum National Library: Prague, Czech Republic

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        Named after Saint Clement, the grounds that holds this library has gone through many guises, beginning as a chapel and becoming a Jesuit college. The National Library was founded in 1781 and is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture, especially the Baroque library hall, known for its intreciate ceiling work by Jan Hiebl. It’s spacious courtyards and ivy-covered walls are perfect places to get lost in a book for an hour or two.

        4. Wiblingen Monastery: Ulm-Wiblingen, Germany

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          The library in this former Benedictine abbey is one of the main reasons to see this monastery. Constructed in the whimsical Rococo fashion, it’s interior is adorned with various statues, red and green columns and intricate ceiling fresco that represent the architect’s vision of this library being a place to treasure the gifts of wisdom and science. Located on the north wing of the property, the library is part of a stunning example of Baroque architecture that is on display throughout the monastery.

          5. Admont Abbey Library: Admont, Austria

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            Known for its breathtaking Baroque design, this abbey is the oldest monastic library in the world. Set at the base of the Gesause National Park, with snow-capped mountains as a beautiful backdrop and the Enns river in the foreground, this library is set in a surreal landscape. The interior is just as stunning as its exterior, where dreamy murals exist in high-celling rooms.

            6. Bristol Central Library: Bristol, England

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              A blend of Tutor Revival and Modern Movement, makes this library unique and aesthetically appealing for all who visit. The interior is mostly Neoclassical, with generous use of the round-arched vaulting on the ceilings. Interestingly enough, it was built on a slope, causing it to have three stories in the front of the building, but five stories in the back.

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              7. The Library of El Escorial: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain

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                Started by King Phillip II, this royal library is situated on the beautiful grounds of El Escorial, the past residences for all of Spain’s kings. The dark wooden shelves and the intricate frescoes painted on the ceiling make this library fit for any king. It is now a World Herritage Site, but  it still has some of the original books.

                8. Mafra Palace Library: Mafra, Portugal

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                  Located within the Mafra Palace, this library houses rare books and is only open by appointment. One of its memorable features is at your feet, with the magnificant titled floor made out of grey, rose and white marble. The beautiful white Rococo architecture makes it a highly-cherished national landmark.

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                  9. Sainte-Genevieve Library: Paris, France

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                    Situated in one of the oldest abbeys in Paris, this library is a stunning masterpiece with its iron-wrought ceilings and sea of green lamps. The stunning design was the inspiration for Boston’s Public Library centuries later.

                    10. The Codrington Library: Oxford, London

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                      An academic library of All Souls College, its dark green shelves and marble statues make for a perfect place for scholars to study. Its modern collection comprises of 185,000 books, a third which were published before the 1800’s.

                      Featured photo credit: Flicker via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                      1. Work on the small tasks.

                      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                      2. Take a break from your work desk.

                      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                      3. Upgrade yourself

                      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                      4. Talk to a friend.

                      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                      7. Read a book (or blog).

                      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                      8. Have a quick nap.

                      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                      9. Remember why you are doing this.

                      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                      10. Find some competition.

                      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                      11. Go exercise.

                      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                      12. Take a good break.

                      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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