Biblioteca Real - Gabinete Portugues de Leitura
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The Prettiest Library in Rio
The prettiest library in Rio de Janeiro is sandwiched between graffiti-tagged buildings on an uneven brick road northwest of downtown. On its facade, the busts of famous Portuguese explorers peer down on pigeons picking at litter and weeds poking through the sidewalk. The Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura, which roughly translates to royal reading room, was built in 1837. It houses more than 350,000 works from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, as well as a small collection of paintings and old coins.
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