This is truly a stunning transformation! Old theaters are already so enchanting but add shelves and shelves of beautiful books and it is a breathtaking combination.
The El Ateneo Grand Splendid is a book store in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2019, the Grand Splendid was named the “world’s most beautiful bookstore” by the National Geographic.
And we can see why!
It originally opened as a theater called Teatro Gran Splendid in May of 1919. The building features ceiling frescoes painted by Italian artist Nazareno Orlandi and sculptures by Troiano Troiani.
The 1919 theater had a seating capacity of 1,050 and hosted not only live theater, but ballet, opera, and tango dancers and singers. In 1929 the theater was converted into a cinema and played the first sound films in Argentina.
Today, the Grand Splendid no longer enjoys the acoustics of song and film. Instead, it is filled with millions of pages of stories.
Don’t cry for me Argentina! This place is truly stunning!
The Grand Splendid’s current incarnation took place in the year 2000. So it has been hosting book lovers for over 20 years now.
Visitors come from all over the world to peruse the books and admire the architecture of this grand place.
Apparently, there are also books available in English for those English speakers who visit.
This means that House Crazy Sarah needs to plan a trip to Argentina!