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Arts & Culture

Historic libraries in Barcelona

Written by Christine

Barcelona has no shortage of historic and interesting sites to visit, including several of the city’s libraries. While there are many useful and modern public libraries in every neighborhood, you can find some older ones that will make your visit very worth the while.

Sant Pau-Santa Creu Library

Photo by NothingToDeclare via Visualhunt

The Sant Pau-Santa Creu Library is part of the historic Hospital Sant Pau. Construction of this library began in the 15th century and since then has been built upon or refurbished in various stages. Originally this was a hospital that served the city until the new building, the magnificent work of architecture that is the Hosptial Sant Pau, took over that function. This is one of Barcelona’s public libraries, so it is open to the public to come in and explore. Be sure to see this piece of Barcelona’s history the next time you are in El Raval.

Address: Carrer de l’Hospital, 56

Related article: CCCB’s cool secret library

Biblioteca Francesca Bonnemaison

Biblioteca Francesca Bonnemaison was built by its namesake, Francesca Bonnemaison, a female pioneer at the time who believed in education and studies for all, but originally the library was only for women. Since then, this library in El Born has been refurbished and updated to become an airy and luminous public space for all. There are still special rooms and collections for women’s studies and interests but it has expanded to become one of the city’s most treasured sources of knowledge.

Address: Carrer de Sant Pere Més Baix, 7

Casa de la Caridad-Pati Manning

Inside the Casa de la Caridad you can find the Espai Pati Manning, a small study area and library. Here you can find several expositions, cultural events, and projects that are open for the public to take part in. You can visit this library to see its collection of books and resources or you can consult the website for upcoming events that are happening at the library. This is a great way to see one of Barcelona’s historical libraries and take part in a cool cultural experience.

Address: Carrer de Montalegre, 7

Related article: Libraries in El Raval

Biblioteca Sofía Barat

Photo via Visualhunt

Biblioteca Sofía Barat was built in 1971, in the heart of the city. Named after the French saint, this library is a cozy little place where you can curl up with a good book or get some peace and quiet to study. There are different book clubs available to the library’s patrons, as well as activities for children to take part in. There are also workshops and cultural events held here, so stop in to grab a new book and take a look around.

Address: Carrer de Girona, 64

Biblioteca Can Rosés

Biblioteca Can Rosés was founded in a historical 18th-century masia, or old Catalan-style mansion. Since the early 1900’s, it has been refurbished in several stages to become the beautiful library that exists today. Take a walk inside this beautiful piece of architecture as you peruse the endless shelves of books. There are several activities available for both children and adults, so consult the website to see what’s going on at this historic library.

Address: Carrer de Déu i Mata, 57

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About the author


Christine is a traveler, teacher, writer, and beach-lover, exploring Barcelona one tapa at a time!

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