El Ateneo Grand Splendid, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is regarded as one of the world's most beautiful bookshops. The building first opened as a theatre, Teatro Gran Splendid, in 1919 with a seating capacity of 1,050. It was converted to a cinema in 1929, and then into a book (and music) store in 2000.
The building has been renovated since being built, but much of the original charm remains, including the ceiling, stage curtains, auditorium lighting, ornate carvings and many architectural details.
The address is 1860 Santa Fe Avenue, Buenos Aires (Spanish: Avenida Santa Fe 1860, BsAs, Capital Federal). Don't forget to appreciate the building from the outside. And look up, as I clearly didn't in the above photo.
|Book shelves have replaced the old cinema seating.|
|The stage now functions as a cafe.|
|Sit in one of the theatre boxes and read through a book or two... so there's no need to buy anything.|
|The original balconies of the old theatre.|
It's a multistory building, so it's great for spying on people. The top floor is devoted to exhibitions, and the basement is for children's books and music.
This bookshop is a must see for anyone visiting Buenos Aires.