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    Posted April 3, 2014 by
    BongoInc
    Location
    Las Cruces, New Mexico
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your favorite libraries

    Portugal's Royal Library

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     While vacating in Portugal, BongoInc visited the National Palace in the city of Mafra. He and his wife were inspired to go to the Palace because he says it is one of the main attractions in Portugal. Inside the Palace is a library, which he describes as regal, and definitely the biggest highlight of the National Palace.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    In 2008 my wife and I had the opportunity to spend 45 days traveling in Portugal. It is a beautiful country and the people are warm and gracious. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the National Palace of Mafra.

    The Royal Convent of Mafra, later known as the National Palace of Mafra, is one of the most significant baroque structures of Portugal located only 17 miles from Lisbon. It was commissioned by King John V in 1717 and houses one of the most significant book/manuscript collections from the 14th to the 19th century.
    The Library of the Convent of Mafra is located on the second floor of the building with magnificent mosaic marble and wood bookshelves carved by Manuel Caetano de Sousa in the Rococo style.
    It measures 289 feet long, by 31 feet wide and 42 feet high. Its collection of over 36,000 leather-bounded volumes includes printed books and manuscripts on a variety of subjects such as medicine, pharmacy, history, geography, travelling, philosophy, theology, canonic and civil laws, mathematics, art, natural history, sermons, literature, music sheets from Portuguese and foreign composers and a large collection of bibles.
    One aspect of the preservation of the books is accomplished in a most unusual way. A small colony of bats that occupy the library keep the "paper eating" insect population in check.
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