Vilnius Tips / Sights in Vilnius

A Quick Guide to the National Library in Vilnius

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Do you ever spend a day without reading a book? I don’t. So if you’re a book nerd at heart like me, you know that libraries are akin to sacred temples where we seek inspiration and knowledge.

Libraries play a significant role in any society not only because they act as preservatories, protecting literary wisdom from social decay, but also because they are often architectural and historical wonders as well.

Staircase at Mazvydas National Library

People reading at Mazvydas National Library

The National Library of Martynas Mažvydas in Vilnius is no exception. Located right off Gediminas Avenue, its grand building lies next to the Parliament, so you cannot really miss it.

The idea of this library—to preserve Lithuanian written word and its heritage—was born in the 19th century. But the road to making this idea a reality has neither been easy, nor quick. There were constant obstacles throughout history such as the oppression of the Lithuanian language, world wars, lack of funds as well as adequate venues.

The National Library of Martynas Mazvydas

So even though on-and-off efforts had been made since 1907, it wasn’t actually until a few years before renewed Independence when the real shift began and the National Library received the attention it deserved.

Then in 2016, after the highly regarded and awarded renovation, the establishment opened the door to the public with a newly-refurbished look. The interior has successfully fused modern—marble stairs and columns, minimalist furnishing and white-coloured walls—with old, yet its authentic elements remain. 

Music room at the library in Vilnius

Music equipment at the National Library of Martynas Mazvydas

Book shelf at the national library in vilnius

Beyond the stunning inside decor, the building feels light and spacious and hosts a number of iconic features like the stain-glass centrepiece, the sculpture of Martynas Mažvydas and, of course, valuable contents such as books and scripts.

Interior of a library in Vilnius

Reading place at the library in Vilnius

The 5-floor building is multi-purpose and has a children’s playroom, a café, co-working areas, spaces for creative workshops and events, reading and study rooms and a gallery on the top floor.

So, if you’re looking for a quiet spot to work from or spend some quality time with your little ones, Martynas Mažvydas National Library might be what you’re looking for.

Mazvydas National Lithuanian Library in Vilnius

P.S. Only Lukas can capture the great indoors of Martynas Mažvydas National Library so beautifully, don’t you think? 😊

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