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16 Photos Of The Most Beautiful Bookstore In The World

The Ateneo Grand Splendid is both a literary and an architectural paradise.

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1. The Grand Splendid is a huge and gorgeous bookshop situated inside of a former theater in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Flickr: mickers / Creative Commons

It was originally a theater called Teatro Gran Splendid, which was built by an Austrian businessman named Mordechai David Glücksman, who was also known for being a pioneer in the Argentinian music and film industry.

3. After some time, it was converted into a movie theater, and was actually the first theater in Buenos Aires to screen movies with sound.

Flickr: liamq / Creative Commons

Before that, they had stage productions and showed silent films, which were accompanied by orchestras playing live tango music.


4. Apart from being a theater, a radio station and a recording studio were added in 1924, which hosted many of Argentina's greatest tango performers.

Glücksmann's passion for music inspired him to transform his theater into one of the country's most cherished musical institutions.

5. Carlos Gardel, one of the greatest tango musicians of all time, recorded there.

Gardel, a true legend of tango, recorded inside the theater in the mid '20s. The room he used is kept unchanged, but it is not currently open to the public.

6. It wasn't until 2000 that the theater opened as a bookstore, with the intention of being maintained as a historical landmark.

The Grand Splendid is the flagship location of Yenny-El Ataneo booksellers, a publishing house and bookstore chain which has been in operation for over a century, and has over 40 stores around Argentina.

7. The bookstore has kept all the fixtures and design elements from the former theater intact.

While inside, you can really feel the elegance and history of the Grand Splendid.


9. El Ateneo has other branches throughout Argentina, but El Ateneo Grand Splendid is by far their most popular location.

@livrariasdebabel / Via

It's also an iconic landmark in Buenos Aires, and is emblematic of the city's beautiful architecture as a whole.

10. The selection of books is impressive. They have pretty much anything you're looking for.

@styleinsider_mag / Via, fabi705 / Via, @shocoladysheva / Via

And they're very accommodating to visitors. You can go in and sit down to read non-fiction, fiction, history books, culture, young adult novels, etc. without spending a dime.

11. As mentioned, there is also a cafe in the back.

Located right on the former stage, behind the imposing red curtains, you can sit down with your favorite novel while sipping a nice espresso.


12. And in like most modern bookstores, you may find more than just your new favorite book while you're visiting.

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If you are a vinyl lover, there's a whole record store inside the Grand Splendid as well.

14. And like any good bookstore, it hosts plenty of special events such as readings, concerts, and book signings.

As if you needed any more excuses to visit.

15. And it's the perfect spot for photographers.

@leena_seol / Via

If you're in Argentina and you're looking for more "likes" on your photos, you can't do much better than a beautiful old building filled with books.