Libraries are some of the most special places in any city. Because they represent our collective knowledge and function as cathedrals for readers and lifelong learners, they are afforded some of the best architecture money can buy. In a temple on Mount Gaya, in South Korea, the most complete collection of Buddhist texts in existence are housed in the UNESCO World Heritage site. The buildings were constructed in the 15th century specifically to store the sacred text. The Mafra National Palace Library is a site to behold in Portugal. Not only is it a beautiful example of Rococo architecture, it also houses a colony of bats that act as a natural pest control against book-damaging insects. New York City’s 1911 main branch library on Fifth Avenue is often cited as one of the city's most beautiful buildings, featuring vibrant murals of the sky.

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