Photo credit Ryan Poole
Second most beautiful bookshop in the world according to The Guardian and also one of the biggest is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have already marked it on my dream travel destinations map right after library which was used in the Harry Potter films.I bet it will make an entry on a similar list of any book lover and dreamer anywhere in the world. Buenos Aires itself is considered for the bookstore capital of the world; it has over 700 bookstores located all over the city, but El Ateneo Grand Splendid is certainly the most beautiful.
Photo credit: Diego Mala
Once you enter this magical place with a sense of some long past times, you can disappear among bookshelves for hours. The history of the place itself is long and interesting; originally it was a theater which was shifted to a cinema during the 1920’s. Until 2000 it kept that purpose and then it was reconstructed into the flagship store for Yenny-El Ateneo Publishing.
The architect who is responsible for the look it has today is Fernando Manzone who had a right feeling for the subtle details of the place and left the ceiling, the ornate wall detail, the stage curtains, and the auditorium lighting as it was. It was just slightly adapted for the browsing and comfy enjoying of the visitors by a café, escalators, reading nooks and comfy chairs which can be found at every level balcony.
Photo credit: Céline
In Buenos Aires books are exempt from standard sales tax. More than a million people visit El Ateneo annually and buy 700,000 books a year.
Photo credit: Kara Brugman
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Photo credit: Stanley Wood