Ateneo Grand Splendid. Photo by @tashuffles
Hidden among the busy and fashionable Recoleta neighborhood is a temple of books that captivates all who witness it. This bookstore is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. You really get to see and appreciate the early 20th-century craftsmanship. It is quiet here, but also many conversations going on in a library tone. On the old theatre stage lies a café where persons are sipping their latte and reading some amazing books.
Yes, this is the Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore. It is often called “the world’s most beautiful bookstore.” You can find many persons on Instagram, for example, posing on one of the balconies that overlook the entire store. The antique theatre has been expertly preserved since its opening in 1919. This was during the time when Buenos Aires was a sprawling hub for commerce and the center of one of the busiest ports.
During its height, the theatre saw many immigrants from Europe which added to the rich culture and gave birth to a thriving art scene. The birth of Tango saw itself here as well. There are amazing frescos that adorn the ceiling. The staff is very welcoming and the delicious coffee makes this one of the most relaxing places to spend a day or at least a few hours.
Argentina is known for many things and one of those is producing some famous literature. At one point the country published 10,000 books per year. The city itself ranks the highest for the amount of bookstore per capita. At last glance, it was estimated to have about 700 stores that you can visit. We recommend you stop here at the Ateneo Grand Splendid on your next trip to Argentina. If you do not speak Spanish then the selection of books is limited. The store does have a small shelf of titles in English at the front, but the offerings are slim, mostly romance novels and drugstore thrillers. A few of the large format photo books are available in English.
Featured Image is by @leehsienloong who is the prime minister of Singapore.