If you’re the type of person that loves to while away hours browsing bestsellers, then you’ll definitely want to book a flight to Buenos Aires in the near future, as the city is home to what might be the most beautiful bookshop in the world.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore has become a travel destination in its own right – as well as a much-loved landmark for locals – thanks to its incredible design.
Housed in a 100-year old cinema, the bookshop is famed for being one of the grandest settings in South America in which to get stuck into a good book.
The building was constructed in 1919 and was originally named Grand Splendid Theatre by Max Glucksmann, the Argentinian film pioneer.
Sadly, the curtains finally fell on the building in 1991 due to Argentina’s degrading economic state.
After years of neglect, the Grand Splendid has finally been restored to its former glory; this time as a bookstore after a renovation by Fernando Manzone.
Alongside some 120,000 books, the theatre also still holds some of its stunning original details, like the fresco on the ceiling, and the eponymous red velvet stage curtains.
Floors and floors are filled with towering shelves of books, stacked on balconies with panoramic views of the stage.
Amazingly, the theatre’s old balconies have also been converted into cosy reading rooms, where you can curl up with a good book and lose yourself for hours on end. There’s also a café on the back of what once was the stage.
This is definitely one that every book and design lover will want to make a pilgrimage to at some point in their lifetime. But be warned: once you do, your local bookshop simply will not cut it anymore.