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20 of the most beautiful libraries in the world

By: Melissa Breyer on Nov. 15, 2017, noon
Sainte-Geneviève Library

Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons

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Sainte-Genevieve Library, France

The Sainte-Genevieve Library in the place du Pantheon, Paris, was designed by Henri Labrouste in 1843 and is striking for its novel use of an exposed structural iron frame – it was the first public building to ever do so – which forms a lacy ferrous exoskeleton that defines the spectacular room. The library inherited the collection of more than 2 million documents from the former Abbeye de Sainte-Genevieve, founded in the 6th century, and serves as the main research and reference library for the lucky students attending the Universites de Paris.