2016 WORLD LUX  6A. 3. CANADA — Library of Parliament WORLD LUXURY 2016 JPG





Library Of Parliament




Called the “most beautiful room in Canada”, the Library of Parliament originated in the 1790s, long before Canada was a country, with the creation of legislative libraries in Upper and Lower Canada. In 1841 the two libraries were amalgamated in Montreal, however in 1849 an angry mob set fire to the Parliament Buildings and only 200 of the 12,000 books were saved. When Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the country’s capital, the library was re-built there along with the Parliament Buildings.


The library was designed by Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones in the Gothic Revival style. The first Parliamentary librarian, Alpheus Todd, suggested the circular shape and the use of galleries and alcoves so that the building would be “spacious and lofty”, and recommended that it be separated from the rest of the buildings by a corridor to protect it from fire. His idea proved prescient when fire struck in 1916, as the library was the only structure that survived.


The interior of the library is exquisite, with some of the floors made of glass to keep light in areas near the books. Flowers, mythical beasts and faces decorate the wood-paneled walls and bookcases, and a statue of Queen Victoria stands in the center. Large pointed-arched windows bring light into the magnificent reading room. The exterior, including soaring flying buttresses, is constructed of sandstone. With more than 17 kilometers of material in its collection, the library provides information, reference and research services to parliamentarians and their staff.



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