Upper Lausitzian Library of Sciences

Gorlitz, Germany | C.1779

Photo Credit: Yura Ukhorskiy

Books eat up every inch of this impressive library, even the archways appear to cut through the rows of literature. Containing upwards of 140,000 volumes, the Upper Lusatia Library of Sciences is the largest library in the city of Gorlitz, German. Likewise, it is the region’s most important library and revered for promoting knowledge sharing between Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.

In 1779, twenty representatives from Gorlitz’s educated bourgeoisie and nobility established a scientific society with the intent to promote the history of the region.  Karl Gottlob Anton – who was a lawyer historian and linguist- and nobleman Adolf von Gersdorf who was also a scientist, led the society known as the Upper Lusatian Society of Sciences.

The Society supported ideas of the Enlightenment movement that concentrated on human reason and encouraged research within all fields of study. The Library’s inventory included scientific works, encyclopedias, and historical literature.

The Library’s design resembles that of Baroque theater architecture with grand arches that divide the hall and create an illusion of backdrops. At the time, it remained reserved only for members of the Society and restricted from the public.

In 1951, the Library went through significant renovations and its original stucco paintings were restored. Today, the Library is now open to the public and is considered one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

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