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Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Lovely Library Tuesday: Royal Portuguese Library, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
For Lovely Library Tuesday we visit The Gabinete Português de Leitura (The Royal Portuguese Library) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The two-floored metallic building was designed by Portuguese architect Rafael da Silva e Castro, and has a façade that is embellished with sculptures by Simões de Almeida depicting Prince Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Pedro Álvares Cabral and Luís de Camões. In the amazing interior, the three-tiered reading room reaches the full height of the building. The galleries for the bookshelves all rest upon iron colonnades decorated with neo-Gothic motifs. A huge skylight of stained glass illuminates the three-tiered room below.The title of Real Gabinete Português de Leitura was given by King Manuel II in 1906. With close to 400,000 titles, the library is the largest collection of Portuguese works outside of Portugal itself including rare original manuscripts, singular works of literature, and unique proofs.