In Buenos Aires, you can find heaven for bookworms: a 100-year-old theatre renovated into a glorious bookstore.
Named by The Guardian as the second most beautiful bookstore in the world, the El Ateneo Grand Splendid used to be called the Grand Splendid Theater. It was built in 1919 and was turned into a cinema some years later. In 2000, it underwent a stunning transformation as it became a bookshop.
Fernando Manzone, the architect behind the renovation, kept the original architectural details by Torres Armengol and Pero. These include the balconies, the ornate trimmings lining the handrails and walls, and the beautiful frescoed ceiling. The stage, meanwhile, was designed to house a small café.
The 21,000-square-foot bookstore’s beauty draws in over a million visitors each year, with over 700K books sold annually too.
And if that’s not something to behold, Buenos Aires even holds the distinction of having the most bookshops per inhabitant than any other city.
“With a population of around 2.8 million, Buenos Aires has at least 734 bookstores – roughly 25 bookshops for every 100,000 inhabitants,” said The Guardian.
“Worldwide, only Hong Kong comes close, with 22 bookshops per 100,000, followed by Madrid in a distant third with just 16 and compared to a mere 10 bookshops for every 100,000 for London.”
You can find out more about El Ateneo Grand Splendid here.
Via Twisted Sifter