Biblioteca Nacional (The National Library)
Here you can learn all about the Spanish language. The scent of books fills the air in the Biblioteca Nacional, the Spanish National Library.
Pure neoclassicism It has all the makings of a portentous building and a grand staircase with sculptures overlooking the Paseo de Recoletos. Even just the façade itself is worth a visit. The Biblioteca Nacional is the institution which has preserved and made available books, incunabula, maps, periodicals, photographs, sound and music reproductions published in the Spanish territory over the centuries. Here you can learn about the Spanish language with 30,000 manuscripts and works such as the Madrid Codex by Leonardo da Vinci, the fourteenth-century copy of the Cantar de Mio Cid and modern monumental works such as as One Hundred Years of Solitude by García Márquez. Unfortunately you need a reader or researcher card to be able to access the collection, but you can easily and freely enter the exhibition rooms. In this last room, you'll learn the keys to the work of a librarian throughout history, see reproductions, facsimiles and original important volumes for Humanity and you can delve into the characters of Cervantes and El Quijote (for more information visit www.bne.es). If only they had taken us to a library like this during our boring literature classes at school!
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