Today I hope you have a cup of tea or coffee. Sit down, put your feet up and enjoy the El Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We visited their in 2012 so I am reaching back travel wise. The Guardian has rated this bookshop the second most beautiful bookshop in the world. National Geographic rated it as the most beautiful. (Wikipedia)
It was certainly the most beautiful bookshop I’ve ever been in.
“Situated on Santa Fe Avenue in Barrio Norte, the building was designed by architects Peró and Torres Armengol for impresario Max Glücksmann (1875-1946), and opened as a theatre called Teatro Gran Splendid in May 1919. The building features ceiling frescoes painted by the Italian artist Nazareno Orlandi and caryatids sculpted by Troiano Troiani, whose work also graces the cornice along the Palacio de la Legislatura de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
The theatre had a seating capacity of 1,050, and staged a variety of performances, including appearances by the tango artists Carlos Gardel, Francisco Canaro, Roberto Firpo and Ignacio Corsini. Glücksmann started his own radio station in 1924 (Radio Splendid), which broadcast from the building where his recording company, Nacional Odeón, made some of the early recordings of the great tango singers of the day. In the late twenties the theatre was converted into a cinema, and in 1929 showed the first sound films presented in Argentina.” The architect Fernando Manzone transformed it into the stunning bookstore in 2000.
Okay, enough history. I have photos to share with you and I hope you enjoy them. (Mind you the photos were taken before I began photography courses so bear with me. Lumix point and shoot tiny camera. But you get the gist!
Art work on the ceiling.
Need I say anything??
There were quite a few specialty areas.
The children’s section has a very good selection and I enjoyed seeing the illustrations of the Spanish books.
The cafe was up on the stage and the food, as you can see, was beautiful.
There was one problem with this shop for us. Almost every book is in Spanish. I think that was a good thing in the end as I didn’t buy anything except maybe a notebook or some cards. I don’t remember.