17.9.10

BnF - "Richelieu"

The National Library of France (Bibilothèque nationale de France – “BnF”) has its origins from the 14th century, then Royal. Since 1537 there is an obligation, still in force, that a copy of all printed matters must be deposited. In the 17th century the Library was installed in the area which you can see on the map. With increasing needs of surface, it expanded to a number of private mansions in the area. The Revolution changed the name from Royal to National. Important renovation and construction work took place during the 19th century – including the vast reading room (top picture) - to make a total and integrated complex, which basically is what you see today, referred to as “Richelieu”.


Some of the halls, the stairs and other reading rooms are spectacular and all over the place different interesting objects are exposed including 17th century globes. The largest existing antique cameo you can see on one photo dates from about 23 BC. Among the documents stored you may note the world’s oldest book (2350 BC), pieces from the Dead Sea Scrolls, Bibles from the 5th and 6th centuries, three Gutenberg bibles, 900 Rembrandt gravures, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner, Ravel, Debussy…partitions, Casanova’s autobiography manuscript and manuscripts of many other authors like Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Beaumarchais, de Sade, Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Balzac, Hugo, Flaubert, Verne…, the world’s first photo (Niépce 1825)….


More and more space has been needed and since long important parts of the collections, millions and millions of books and other documents are stored elsewhere. The most spectacular event is of course the creation on the left bank of the “Bibilothèque François Mitterrand”, opened to public in 1995.

I wish you a nice weekend!

25 comments:

Anne in Oxfordshire said...
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Anne in Oxfordshire said...

WOW that is amazing Peter, thanks for info .. :-) you are a great guide

Mystica said...

Thank you for such beautiful photographs and also for the snippets of information. For those of us who are unlikely to visit Paris this is so very, very good.
Thank you.

"All things French" said...

oh my! what a fabulous building and all those books ~ I could get locked in there for a week ~ just wonderful architecture.
~Dianne~

V Rakesh said...

Gosh! What a wonderful place this is...... I cannot describe in words how truly overjoyed I feel just looking at these pictures! Now that certainly is on my list of must-visit places! Thanks so much for sharing and do have a wonderful weekend!

hpy said...

Un jour il y aura peut-être même ton Guide d'un suédois à Paris.

hpy said...

Un jour il y aura peut-être même ton Guide d'un suédois à Paris.

claude said...

Celle-ci est quand même beaucoup plus belle que de celle du grand bâtisseur.

Claudia said...

Beautiful photos. They remind me of my Lycée in Lisbon, also an old and beautiful building with polished solid wood floors, wood paneled walls in the library and a grand stone staircase. The smell of old wood and wax polish are an indelible part of my childhood and ealy teenage years.

Olivier said...

elle est magnifique la BNF, j'aime beaucoup la première photo avec ces murs tapisses de livre.

Cezar and Léia said...

I need to say that I'm always inside some library here.Now I'm trying to read French authors as well.But it's difficult sometimes. :)
This Bibliothèque is magnificent, glad that you have the opportunity to take pictures inside.Really wonderful!
Hugs and happy weekend
Léia

Ruth said...

Just beautiful. The reading room! None of this surprises me, of course, that France would have such a beautiful national library. But it is stunning all the same.

Bon week-end, Peter!

Starman said...

We had an apartment across the street from the west entrance to the Mitterrand.

Paris Paul said...

Gorgeous! You're so lucky to have had the opportunity to visit... as it difficult to get,permission?

sonia a. mascaro said...

What a fabulous "Temple of the Culture", Peter!
You did a great post here with much informations and great photos.
Thanks for sharing.
I wish you a nice weekend too!

Peter (the other) said...

Most wonderful is the short documentary about the library, made in 1956, by Alain Resnais. More importantly (to this muso) is the score by a young percussionist named Maurice Jarre.

Zhang said...

Très belle bibliothèque. On dirait un musée, un palais. Ça doit être très agréable de travailler dedans.

Trotter said...

So many times I passed by and never entered Richelieu... Wonderful room!!
There a low budget restaurant nearby on the first floor of the corner street: Le Drouot... Memories... ;)

Louise said...

Argh, We stayed very close to the National Library when we were in Paris in June- I knew I should have looked inside! The French do grandeur so well, particularly inside public buildings. The collection sounds amazing too. Something to visit next time though.

Nathalie said...

Quel lieu imposant, riche et chargé d'histoire. Bravo à toi Peter d'avoir trouvé le moyen d'y entrer... j'imagine que ce n'est pas si évident ?

每当遇见你 said...
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Hotels in Lima said...

What a wide range of books you can choose from. Its not only a library but a museum also with beautiful artifacts.

Miraflores Hotels said...

Its a goldmine for people who loves reading. With millions of books to choose from. Its a book lovers dream.

Boat Cruise said...

The National Library is one grand building you can visit and admire the millions of books you can choose.

Wholesale Sunglasses said...

Its really a treasure worth for keeps. For people who wants to read in a quiet atmosphere the library is best for you.