As I said on Monday, libraries have been some of the world’s greatest treasures. No wonder, then, that they are often so beautiful you might think you were inside a palace (sometimes there’s no differentiation). Here are a couple old-world libraries that are visually stunning:

Abbey Library St. Gallen Switzerland

Library of Parliament, Ottawa, Canada

Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Sansovino Library in Venice, Italy

Library of the Benedictine Monastery of Admont, Austria

Biblioteca Geral University of Coimbra in Coimbra, Portugal

Modern architects have created some very beautiful, if quite different, libraries as well. Alexandria, Egypt, which once held the world’s most important library, now has an updated version that is anything but ordinary. Here are a few contemporary library designs:

Exterior of library in Alexandria, Egypt

Interior of library in Alexandria, Egypt

Central library in Seattle, USA

National library of Belarus

Aaaaand my own hometown library in Minneapolis, USA