"The Bookstore House was built between 1717 and 1728, having received the first books only after 1750."
The Joanine Library was built by King D. João V (1717-1728). It is recognized as one of the most original and spectacular European Baroque libraries. It consists of 3 interconnecting rooms, fully lined with oak wood shelves decorated with Chinese motifs. Its collection gathers about 70 thousand volumes, including among its copies some of the rarest bibliographic collections, in the Library are representative examples of the best that was produced in cultured Europe of the 16th,17th and 18th century.
The architectural morphology of the Library, the 2-meter-thick walls and teakwood entry door ensure optimal environmental conditions.
The preservation of the most valuable estate is a fundamental concern and to which contributes the fact that the bookshelves are made of oak wood, inside the Library live two colonies of bats that help fight the insects that attack the books.
The central nave of the Joanina Library has a structure similar to that of a chapel, in which the portrait of D. João V occupies the place of the altar. The golden frame of the canvas mimics a curtain, which opens to display in a "splendid allegorical composition" - the king.
The Joanina Library is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, making it a must for any visit to Coimbra.