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20 of the most beautiful libraries in the world

By: Melissa Breyer on Nov. 15, 2017, noon
Joanina Library, Portugal

Photo: Ernesto von Rückert /Wikimedia Commons

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Joanina Library, Portugal

Another Portuguese beauty patrolled by bats, the stunning 18th century Baroque Joanina Library at the University of Coimbra contains about 250,000 volumes, mostly works of medicine, geography, history, humanistic studies, science, civil and canon law, philosophy and theology. The bug-eating bats have been a part of the preservation plan for at least 200 years, and the caretakers cover the furniture nightly to protect it from guano.