Make reading more books one of your New Year resolutions this year! Why? Because after a visit to this unique bookstore, you’ll surely want to keep coming back. Located in an antique theater in Buenos Aires, it’s definitely an incredible sight – whether you’re a book lover or not.
The moment that you walk in to the Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore, you will be totally amazed with what you are going to see. This isn’t just a common library, because believe it or not, it is located inside what used to be the theater, “Gran Splendid” in the Recoleta district of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Guardian Newspaper even hailed it as the “Second Most Beautiful Bookstore in the World” in 2008 (the first place went to Selexyz Dominicanen library in Maastricht, the Netherlands).
The theater was built in 1919 by Max Glucksman, it has four rows of boxes and an audience capacity of 500 people and a dome with a representation of peace painted by Nazareno Orlandi as a way to celebrate the end of the first World War. In this theater, a lot of popular tango dancers such as Carlos Gardel and Roberto Firpo dedicated their performances to the Grand Splendid in 1927.
In 2000, the theater was refurbished to be used as a library while still retaining the grand splendor of the theater. They kept the dome painting, the original balconies, the same decorations, even the red velvet curtain. You can sit and enjoy your favorite book in “reading areas” with chairs scattered around the audience area and in the boxes. You can sit back and relax with a good book while listening to jazz or have a delightful meal in the restaurant, which is located in the stage.
If you are visiting Buenos Aires, you must go to this library! You’ll really love it and another cool thing about it is that it is not forbidden to take pictures!