Tourist Guide Paris

New National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

The Bibliothèque nationale de France is found in ‘Francois Mitterand’. It is France’s state library and its building was commissioned in 1988 by the former head of state Francois Mitterand. The library then originated through the direction of the architect Dominique Perrault. The library is a whole 60,000square metres. It has been built at right angles and in the centre of its glory is a 12,000sq metre garden; whoever strolls through the library can admire its beauty as it is visible from the inside of the building. The atmosphere is as a result much calmer and contemplative. At each corner of the library is a tower of 79 metres in height, made of glass and in an L-shape – meant to symbolise an open book. Unfortunately the new library also angered many French citizens. The reasons are obvious; firstly, there were several planning errors and secondly, the construction of the library was greatly delayed.

New National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France)
Source: Photographer: Julien-F.-D.

The four glass towers have the names: Tower of time (Tour de temps), Tower of Laws (Tour de lois), Tower of Numbers (Tour des nombres) and Tower of Letters (Tour des letters)

The large collection in the National Library owes its thanks to the manuscript collection of King Karl V from 1368 which, were kept in the Louvre. In today’s Bibliothèque nationale de France, all important documents are collected and kept and should be accessible to everyone. As a result the inventory is immense. Currently 30 million books are housed in the National Library.