Romanian National Library

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Library of Romania Biblioteca Națională a României

founding 1838
Duration Books , journals , newspapers , magazines , multimedia , manuscripts , art prints , maps
place Bucharest coordinates: 44 ° 25 ′ 31.6 ″  N , 26 ° 6 ′ 36.5 ″  EWorld icon
Former seat of the National Library in the Stock Exchange Palace

The Romanian National Library ( Romanian Biblioteca Națională a României , BNR) was founded in 1838 and is the largest library in Romania . On April 23, 2012 she moved into her new building at Bulevardul Unirii , number 22 in Bucharest . Before that, she was housed in a building near the University Square. The Romanian National Library can look back on a hundred years of history. Depending on the political system in question, it has had different names over time. It has around 13 million publications .


The origins of the Romanian National Library go back to the Sfântu Sava College , which ran one of the most important libraries in the country. The Sfântu Sava College was founded in 1838 and had a collection of 1,000 volumes. After the unification of the Romanian principalities in 1859, the library was declared a national library , only to be renamed the Central State Library in 1864 . In the period from 1901 to 1955, the Central State Library was dissolved. In its place, the library of the Romanian Academy was declared a national library in 1901 . As a result, the Academy's book inventory was also transferred. In 1955 it was given the title of Central State Library and the former book collection was returned.

The historicizing facade of the new building before the redesign

Construction work on the new building, about a third of the size of the parliament building , began in 1986 during the reign of the dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu . After the Romanian Revolution of 1989 , construction work came to a standstill. For both buildings, Ceaușescu had an entire old town torn down.

After long controversies about its use, construction work continued in 2009, albeit under different aesthetic conditions. Architect Eliodor Popa from the construction company Carpati SRL had the classicistic flourish facade partially covered with asymmetrical glass fronts. He completely redesigned the original facades, which were overloaded with baroque ornamentation and columns. The back and the flanks are now adorned with simple column facades with windows. The semicircular front facade of the building, which previously consisted of a monumental semicircle with arcades and was ridiculed as a kitsch imitation of the Colosseum , is now completely dominated by the greenish glass and subtle metal beams. At 120 million euros, the project is the largest Romanian investment in the cultural sector since the revolution.

The new building was inaugurated in December 2011 by former Prime Minister Emil Boc and inaugurated on April 22, 2012 by the Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Daniel. The new national library has been open to the public since April 23, 2012. Romania's Ministry of Culture will also be accommodated here soon. The total usable area is 120,000 square meters, which is a third of the usable area of ​​the parliament building, which is considered one of the largest buildings in the world.


The book holdings of the National Library, which had its seat in an unsuitable palace in Bucharest, were only partially housed there, other parts were distributed over several libraries in the country. The library has a 30 meter high atrium, 14 reading rooms on seven floors, an auditorium, six conference rooms, exhibition, office and storage rooms, as well as two cafes. The library holds more than 12 million books, newspapers and magazines and around 500,000 old documents.

The virtual library itself has more than half a million titles. Print editions, manuscripts, historical documents, old art prints, photographs and maps as well as the historical archive have been digitized. The most valuable work of the National Library is the Codex Aureus - the first part of the Lorsch Gospel from Charlemagne's court script , which is dated around the year 810, while the second part is kept in Rome , in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana . The Codex Aureus is digitally accessible to the public - the manuscript can be leafed through, the images can be enlarged as desired.


There are two branches, the Biblioteca Omnia in Craiova and the Biblioteca Batthyaneum in Alba Iulia .

Web links

Commons : National Library of Romania  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. , Romania has a new national library
  2. ^ , Joseph Croitoru: National Library in Bucharest Late birth of the book castle