National library in Minsk

It feels like the world first learned about the word “rhombicuboctahedron” after the construction of the national library of Belarus. It was designed by Mihail Vinogradov and Viktor Kramarenko (the latter one also took part in the design of the Great Patriotic War museum). With 18 square and 8 triangular faces, this eccentric geometric shape has been turning heads since the library’s construction. It symbolizes the value of knowledge and the infinity of the perceptible world.

However, the library is more than unusual architecture. It is a multipurpose center that combines a rich collection of books and high technologies. 

Minsk Library Design

The central entrance resembles an open book with images to underline the development of the global and Slavonic writing, and a quote from the Francysk Skaryna’s Bible in 19 languages, which encourages people to study.

The famous Minsk library contains around 9 million books, publications, manuscripts, digital materials in over 80 languages. Most of the collection is stored on ten floors of the repository. Digital materials can be accessed on computers and via the Internet.

The library is regularly hosting international meetings and negotiations as well as scientific, educational, cultural and political events, including:

  • summits of the CIS states;
  • EurAsEC Interstate Council sessions;
  • the Belarus President press conferences.

Each year culture days of various nations are held there. These culture days include photographic, art and book exhibitions.

Belarus National Library Structure

The library occupies the territory of 113,669m2, which is a quarter of the Vatican area. It weighs 140,000 tons (without books and equipment), which is 14 times more than the weight of the Eiffel Tower.

The library includes:

  • 20 reading rooms;
  • the storage facility;
  • the center for international meetings;
  • the sociocultural center;

not mentioning various engineering and technical departments.

The sociocultural center comprises:

  • art galleries;
  • a conference hall; 
  • a playroom for children;
  • a restaurant and three cafes;
  • a sport and recreation complex;
  • recreation zones;
  • the Book Museum;
  • an indoors and an open-air observation decks.

The open-air observation deck is located over 70 meters above the ground in the upper part of the repository. Visitors can climb to it to enjoy the city view.

Belarus National Library was among 25 most beautiful public libraries according to Flavorwire ranking and among 50 most unusual buildings according to the Village of Joy website.

At night the library is illuminated and shows various displays. Due to its unusual shape and bright illumination, the library has almost become one of the key attractions in Minsk.

You can visit the National Library as a part of g4 tours’ 5-day Minsk city tour. We create comprehensive customized tours across Belarus and regional cities with exciting excursions to key Belarusian landmarks. Book your tour right now!