The diamond of knowledge: National Library of Belarus

Anano Chikhradze | Live the World

November 23, 2022

I think that one of the most interesting buildings in Minsk is its Library. When you see this construction, you will hardly guess what this building might be without knowing it. It is not a typical cultural building, so it catches your attention immediately. In this article, we will discover the National Library of Belarus, also called "the diamond of knowledge", and I am going to start with its history.

History

The National Library was created in 1922, and it was also a library of the Public University. At this time, the library kept around 60,000 books and some 1,000 people were using it. In 1926, the library was reorganized and became the National Library. However, the name was changed again in 1932, when it was named after Lenin. Later on, in 1941, the stock and number of visitors to the library noticeably increased. There were around 1,000,000 books and around 15,000 people were visiting it. From 1992, they renamed it as the National Library again, and because of the large number of books, there was a necessity to construct a new building. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/arkady2013

The project of new library

At that time, the books were kept in different buildings. In 1989, a competition was held in order to find the best architects for the new project. The winners became Mihail Vinogradov and Viktor Kramarenko, whose idea was unique and distinctive from the others. In the beginning, the project seemed strange to be approved, as it looked like a multifaceted crystal. However, the architects were very proud of their idea, and they explained its symbolical meaning. They made the juries believe in it too. According to them, it was a symbol of infinity and invaluable work. Despite the fact that the project was approved, the implementation process started later. The construction of the library started only in 2002 and was finished in 2006. All the books were gathered in the new building, and this process continued for several months. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/V_Sot

The library now

The National Library of Belarus consists of 23 floors, and it has a shape of a precious stone. It is the main storage for the books but also an intellectual symbol of Belarus. You will find 18 reading halls here, that can accommodate up to 2000 visitors. In addition, different international meetings and negotiations are held in the National Library. There are an engineering-technical space and a socio-cultural center. People call this building ‘the Diamond of Belarus’. If you want to see its greatness, you have to visit the library in the evening. Different lights make it shine so much that there is no surprise that people call it the diamond. The National Library offers to its visitors' different interesting programs as well, and you can visit the museum of books, that is also located inside. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/V_Sot

While being in Belarus, try to discover the National Library that is located in Minsk, especially, the last floors from where you will see a beautiful panoramic view of the city. This diamond of knowledge is one of the most famous sightseeing places in the country. 

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