One of Manchester city centre’s beloved and most recognisable pieces of architecture has received a worthy accolade.
John Rylands Library has been voted one of the most beautiful libraries in Europe.
By collecting data from Google reviews over previous years, holiday rental site Holidu compiled a bucket list of the top ten most beautiful libraries across the continent – which includes five modern and five historic – that are considered to be a must-see at least once in a lifetime.
The Manchester masterpiece took the number one spot.
John Rylands Library was the only library in the UK to make the list, sitting alongside a collection of other stunning libraries in Vienna, Helsinki, Warsaw, Paris, Copenhagen, Stuttgart, Admont, Venice and Paris.
Founded in 1889 by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her late husband, John Rylands – an entrepreneur and philanthropist, who also happened to be the city’s first ever multi-millionaire – the impressive neo-Gothic building situated in the heart of Manchester city centre was designed by architect Basil Champneys and took 10 years to build.
With a catalogue of 1.4 million items, the John Rylands Library houses an extensive selection of books and many special collections.
The library became part of The University of Manchester in 1972, and now houses the majority of Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library – which is the third largest academic library in the country.
The library has also earned an average Google review of 4.8 stars out of 466 reviews.
The Deansgate building finished top of Holidu’s ‘old-school’ library list, being joined in the top five by Stiftsbibliothek Admont in Austria, which is the oldest monastery library in the world, and the Kloster Wiblingen in Ulm, which is a classic example of Rococo art.
The Biblitoeca Marciana in Venice – which contains one of the most important collections of Greek, Latin and Oriental manuscripts – comes in at number four, and the Sainte-Geneviève Library in Paris takes the fifth spot.
Us Mancunians know that John Rylands Library is one of the city’s most beautiful buildings, but now its beauty has been recognised throughout Europe.
Was there ever any doubt?
Featured Image – Visit Manchester