La Biblioteca Palafoxiana [english]

NOTE: free and fast translation from original note in Spanish. Any mistakes or misspellings, please let me know.
In the central state of Puebla, in México, downtown Puebla (city), there is an old and very important library: La Biblioteca Palafoxiana (something like Palfafoxianan Library would be the literal translation, noting that in Spanish biblioteca is where the books are for public read but not for sale as in a librería).
It would be completely useless trying to describe the bunch of feelings you get while entering the Biblioteca Palafoxiana room. The air is filled with the smell of cedar and old books, huge lines of thousands books’ spines on each side of the room, a XVIII century altarpiece at the end of the room, under the arched ceilings, furniture from different eras still —in use—… all that history and knowledge stored on those three stories with about forty thousand volumes.
Inaugurated after Puebla’s Bishop, don Juan de Palafox*, donation of his personal collection of over five thousand volumes, with the only condition to make it available to anyone who could read (not just for academic clerks or monks as used to be). Further donations and confiscations (mostly to Jesuits after their expel from la Nueva España), is considered the first public library in the continent.

This is a must in any visit to Puebla. Even the address is kinda cool: 5 Oriente #5.

The main entry door is by itself a real craftsmanship masterpiece.

At first sight, Dan Brown (and friends) could write about 6 novels and 37 short stories with just this following image.

* I’ve been reading about Don Juan de Palafox and I must say that seems to have been a pretty cool dude. At least, he is known to our days as someone with firm hand (served as viceroy), worked next to local people (spaniards and sons had special privileges) and gave them access to work and power, he worked a lot for people’s education and culture, actions not common in such days. Cheers for this dude!

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