TikTok and Instagram reveal the most beautiful bookstore in Brazil

A little-known nugget outside of Rio, the popularity of this library began to grow during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and then the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, explains Foundation Coordinator, Orlando Inacio. This Olympic year, Time magazine described Real Gabinete Português de Leitura From “The fourth most beautiful library in the world.Notoriety has only grown since then, thanks to social networks.

Thus developed a strange group of researchers of Portuguese history, literature or culture, sitting at study tables, surrounded by tourists and curious people from the surrounding area, armed with their smartphones. Librarian Silvia Franca OFFICIAL: Few of these vacationers or curious ones come to consult books or visit the contents of the collection. Against the background of manuscripts and other manuscripts dating back a hundred years, young people and families in slippers and beach dresses appear, when the “spot” is not crowded, of course.

Florent, a 40-year-old French tourist, met him El PaísWitness: I’ve seen the photos on Instagram of the library, and they’re beautiful, but much more impressive in person.Lucas, an 18-year-old student, and his friends Kaylane and Maria Clara boarded a train and Uber from Bangú, a neighborhood in the western region of Rio, after this time they discovered the interior of the building through the TikTok platform.

If this influx makes it impossible to take advantage of the library’s calm and persistent atmosphere, this newfound fame will allow unaware city dwellers to know this institution also as the receptacle of a unique collection of books.

185 years of history

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The Portuguese Royal Reading Council was established in 1837 by Portuguese immigrants. 15 years ago, Brazil gained its independence. “They set up the library, in order to improve the cultural education of the Portuguese community in Rio, because most of those who came did not receive any education“,” explains Francisco Gomez da Costa, head of the structure, himself of Portuguese origin.

It stands in its current location with its facade inspired by the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon, since Princess Isabel opened the building in 1887, in the last years of the Brazilian Empire.

The facade of the Real Gabinete Português de Leitura. Donatas Dabravolskas (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Thanks to numerous donations and purchases made over the course of nearly two centuries, the library now houses about 400,000 volumes. Among its treasures, we can mention a first edition of 1572 dlucidfrom the classic Portuguese book, Luis de Camويسes, published in 1521,Manuel decreesor the original manuscript oflove of perditionWritten by Camilo Castillo Branco in 1861.

In addition, the Royal Court has also benefited from its status as the repository of Portuguese “legal deposits” and national book repositories for more than a century. A franchise now shared with the former Portuguese colony of Macau in China. Each year, a consignment arrives with a copy of each work published in the former city of Brazil, i.e. “About 10 tons of books per year per boatDa Costa explains.

All of these Portuguese translations of contemporary works, such as those by the economist Thomas Piketty, are mounted on modern shelves found in the annexes adjacent to the main library building.

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Statue of Pedro Alvares Cabral. Eugenio Hansen, SFO (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Prior to the Portuguese royal family’s departure from Brazil in 1808, they fled Napoleon’s forces, books and printing presses were banned in the country, since Pedro Alvares de Cabral’s arrival in northeastern North America. 1500. A justified policy of keeping the population in a state of complete ignorance. Only at the end of the twentieth century did Brazil open its first university.

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Although the library does not receive any support from the Portuguese or Brazilian government, it lives on the profits generated from its real estate assets.

Image credits: Donatas Dabravolskas (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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