National Geographic tells us something we all knew: the most beautiful bookstore in the world is Argentina



Former theater of Recoleta, today is the largest in Latin America and has 90 thousand titles and more than 200 thousand books. "It's a piece of history that is breathing new life," the publication said.

Article posted January 10, 2019

The bookstore The Grand Splendid Athenaeum, an architectural gem of Buenos Aires, is a majestic Mecca building for lovers of books and art, which has just been chosen by the magazine National Geographic as the most beautiful in the world. Built to be a theater in 1903 in the Recoleta neighborhood, "Gran Splendid" was the scene of the first radio auditions in the 1920s, and shortly thereafter it added a record label.

Reopened in 2000 as a bookstoreToday it is the largest in Latin America and has 90,000 titles and more than 200,000 books spread over its three floors and its basement. The boxes have been converted into private reading rooms, and the theater stage is now a private bar surrounded by stunning baroque architecture that preserves original sets and grills, and crowned by a fresco of angels.

Its beauty attracts about 3,000 visitors a day, which can reach 5,000 on weekends, and over the years has received many illustrious visitors, such as that of French President Emanuel Macron, when he attended the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last December . . The tango singer Carlos Gardel and writers of the stature of Ernesto Sábato, Paul Auster or Mario Vargas Llosa They have left their mark on this place, which continues to promote literature and culture.

"On a busy shopping street in the trendy Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, you can visit a serene temple of books," he said. National Geographic. "The lighting is soft, with details that show the best of the crafts of the early twentieth century. The conversations are quiet, as in a large library, yet the space is so warm and welcoming that the coffee raised in the back of the cavernous room is full of customers who read and drink cappuccinos and chocolate subs. "

50 people work in the bookstore, tasked with advising visitors about their books, collection of about 35,000 records and its nearly 24,000 films. "The theater is filled with places where the ancient worlds flourish, such as the magnificent frescoes in the ceiling and the Latin style, such as the friendly staff, the excellent coffee and the relaxed pace," writes journalist Brian Clark Howard on the spot. National Geographic.

"This place that today National Geographic presents us with such a special mention, unexpected on the one hand, disconcerted by the other, fills us with pride and the truth that we are very happy," he said. Juan Pablo Marciani, official and spokesman of the bookstore. Such a distinction "is a great homage to the culture in Buenos Aires for the world," he said.



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