Friday, 3 April 2015

bibliothèque mazarine - france's oldest public library

This is probably the first & last time I write a post about a place from where I don't get to show you the pictures I originally set out to take - which is somehow ironic when you see all the photos posted. 

I've been meaning to visit several of Paris' beautiful public libraries for quite a while & in particular their famous reading rooms. Mazarine was first on my list. Imagine my disappointment when they told me "no photos" just as I entered this famous L-shaped reading room... Allthough by then, I had already shot quite a few of the cobble paved courtyard, the spiral staircase, the facades, the marble busts & the Corinthian columns. If this isn't enough to inspire you to go there, let me add that once you enter the large reading room, you will be met by a view over the Seine, leather-topped tables, green desk lamps, impressive chandeliers & beautiful wooden shelves reaching all the way up to the high ceiling.

It's located on Quai de Conti, right across the "Pont des Arts" in the 6th arrondissement & entrance is free. Founded in 1643, it's named after Cardinal Mazarin who served as the chief minister of France from 1642 until his death. It's the official library for Intitut de France that, among other academies, manages the prestigious Académie Française (which can roughly be explained as 40 members known as the immortals attempting to halt the sabotage of the French language).

I have a few more Parisian public libraries on my list. I hope I'll be able to take some pictures of at least one of their reading rooms. All I have from Mazarine is that rhino in the book below taken by my Iphone when it accidentally jumped out of my pocket...

Open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.

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