Mafra National Palace Library

The Mafra National Palace has become home to one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. At one time this used to be a Royal Convent. It was built in the Baroque style in Portugal not far from the capital Lisbon. It is the largest monument in the country. The palace has 1200 rooms and over 4,700 doors and windows. As I make discoveries on the Internet I know information about this should be shared.

In the Basilica visitors can find the worldwide famous Six Pipe Organs that were built by the best organ builders at that time. The organs were created to all play at the same time. They were restored and after twelve years were unveiled in 2010. They hold the world record for the largest historic Carillons – a series of 98 bells all in tune with one another.

The most amazing to see is the incredible Convent Library dating from 1771. This collection has more than 36,000 leather-bound volumes among them such rare manuscripts like incunabula (a book printed prior to the year 1500).

It is fascinating to see the colorful marble floor and the endless rows of wooden bookshelves. The bookshelves are in Rococo style and situated on the sidewalls in two rows separated by a balcony with a wooden railing. The scent of books is magical and you step into a completely different kind of literary world.

These precious books are specially preserved. They have a colony of bats that are kept in boxes during daytime hours and released at night when they go hunting for and eating insects which otherwise could damage these expensive books.

The library is open to researchers, historians and scholars. A previous appointment is recommended.

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