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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 January 21, 2020

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                        Why You Need a Vision

                        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                        How to Create Your Life Vision

                        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                        What Do You Want?

                        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                        Some tips to guide you:

                        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                        • Give yourself permission to dream.
                        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                        Some questions to start your exploration:

                        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                        • What qualities would you like to develop?
                        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                        • What would you most like to accomplish?
                        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                        A few prompts to get you started:

                        • What will you have accomplished already?
                        • How will you feel about yourself?
                        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                        • What does your ideal day look like?
                        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                        • What would you be doing?
                        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                        • How are you dressed?
                        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                        Plan Backwards

                        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                        • What important actions would you have had to take?
                        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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