Real Gabinete Português de Leitura

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura

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Rio de Janeiro has a rich history that is often forgotten, and it’s easy to see why.  With such beautiful scenery and beaches laden with gorgeous people, who cares about history?  Well, unfortunately for you guys, I do.  In the days when Napoleon Bonaparte was roaming Europe the King of Portugal simply packed his bags and headed to his colony of Brazil.  King John, definitely didn’t come alone either, he came with boat loads of his “stuff” including his books.  Those books still sit to this day in and old library, a library which just happens to be one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever been to.  I hope you enjoy this short photo essay, yes, about a library.

A statue at the entrance

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura

A view up, they wouldn’t let me climb up there… I asked politely too.

Old desks

They may not look comfortable to sit in, but at least they stand still for photos.

Old books in Real Gabinete Português de Leitura

Of course most libraries have books… this library has some very old books

A book shelf

Some more books… but please, don’t touch, they’ll crumble into dust

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura

This old guy has been here for a while I would say. I think he’s making sure people don’t touch the books.

The old library of Real Gabinete Português de Leitura in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If you’re like me, the library reminds you of either studying for 12 hours straight powered by hot chocolate and subway, or a really cool action movie. Luckily this one is the later, can you just see this place exploding in a scene of gun fire? Ok, maybe it’s just me.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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13 Comments

  1. I love books. And I love history. So I’m a geek. Thanks for sharing this.

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  2. Yeah I can definitely see this library as the location of a shooting. I love the way you handled the colors with this one, it definitely gives off this “Wild West” feel to the place.

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  3. Those are some amazing photos, that library looks incredible. None of the libraries I’ve ever studied in have been nearly as nice as that.

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    • Yup, definitely beat the University of Calgary Library

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  4. Yup, by far the most beautiful library, loaded with these incredible books, that I have ever seen. You did an amazing job on the photos…I could spend hours and hours in a library or book store….Hot chocolate and books…What a combo..
    Thanks ever so much for sharing these photos and the history, Brendan…You have done it once again….
    Patti thecrazychef Somewhere in Mexico

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  5. What an amazing library and photos! I love history and am a huge book lover, so this is right down my alley Brendan! Enjoy the rest of your stay in Brazil! 🙂

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  6. If your ever in Buenos Aires you should check out el Ateneo.. have you been? Opera Theater turned into book store… AMAZING PLACE

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    • No, never been there… actually never even heard of it. I’ll check it out next time I’m in town. What part of the city is it in?

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  7. No touching? What a depressing libraries! I would want to touch all the books!

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  8. I didn’t know about this library until now. Very nice photographs!

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    • You need to be checking it out Jenna. There is so much history packed into here. Imagine, it’s King John’s entire library. Incredible.

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  9. This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am
    really impressed to read all at one place.

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