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University of Coimbra Ilha

3004-531 Coimbra, Portugal
| +351 239 859 900
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Joanine Library in Coimbra University Coimbra  Portugal

Joanine Library in Coimbra University

This might be one of the best sacred places in the University of Coimbra; This library, built in the early 18th century by King John the 5th, is known for its rich real gold baroque decor, and the plaster ceilings are decorated with allegorical trompe-l’oeil paintings.
I was surprised to learn there are real bats hiding behind the book shelves, and help to keep the moth away from the books.
Today it is one of the most significant archival libraries in the world and contains some 56,000 books, including some rare books such as Biblical books and rare editions.
In order to keep the books and library in good condition photography is not allowed and visitor time is well managed and controlled.
Don't miss it though!