Libraries have long stood as the greatest symbol of our intellectual development. Many have been built on a grand scale, their creators sparing no expense. Despite the passage of time, some of these great public buildings still have the power to astound. In fact, there are very few modern libraries which have the ability to match these older ’temples of knowledge’.

Here are 25 of the most surprising, astounding, incredible and beautiful libraries around the world. via 24 libraries of the world so magnificent they’ll take your breath away