Monday is the biggest day in Real Gabinete Português de Leitura [Cabinet royal portugais de lecture]The haven of Portuguese culture in Brazil. On Monday, July 25, visitors continue to flock to this library in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautiful in the world. Other cultural institutions in the city are closed for weekends.
The natural light that enters through the skylight casts a dim light on the reading room and the multicolored leather covers of some 400,000 books kept there. For decades, this wonderful library, which has the largest collection of Portuguese authors outside of Portugal, has welcomed scholars who come to study there. But it has recently become a meeting place for selfie lovers who gather in the magnificent main hall.
A piece of Portugal
The Royal Cabinet was one of the most overlooked pieces of culture in Rio that even Instagram and Tik Tok breathed new life into it. As Orlando Inacio, veteran director of the foundation explained, “It is the effect of social networks. People come, they photograph themselves, they post their profile pictures, others see them and they want to come too“.a phenomenon that began to appear during the glorious years of the Olympic Games and the World Cup [en 2016 et 2014]which has grown recently. In 2014, Real Gabinete was named the fourth most beautiful bookstore in the world by the magazine [américain] time.
Traditional users sometimes resent the sudden arrival of this new audience: specialists in Portuguese history, literature or culture. A few researchers, hunkered down behind small tables, try to focus despite the hum of the tourists and cariocas who have come to memorialize the moment on their phones. Anyone can borrow books, but there are a few non-specialist readers, according to librarian Silvia Franca, 41.
The history of this place is similar to that of other contemporary institutions. Library [en tant qu’institution] It was founded in 1837 by about forty Portuguese immigrants, in Brazil which had only gained its independence fifteen years earlier. “It was created to improve the culture of Portuguese society, since most of those who came to Brazil did not receive any education, Explains from the residence Francisco Gomez da Costa, Portugal-born head librarian. These immigrants