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The National Library

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The National Library

The National Library in Minsk is one of the largest projects that president Lukashenko started. On the outskirts of the city this giant library is a perfect example of Soviet style architecture: ‘the bigger, the better’. Remarkably, the library was largely funded with donations, which are in fact mandatory contributions by students and pupils.

The National Library of Belarus in Minsk hosts the largest collection of printed material and books in Belarus and is actually the third largest collection of Russian works in the world. In total round about 15 million books can be stored.

The first National Library of Belarus was founded on September 15, 1922, but was destroyed during World War II. In 1989 the decision was made to build a new library in Minsk, however, only started the construction in 2002. Makhail Vinogradov and Viktor Kramarenko are the architects. It finally opened on June 16th 2006; measuring 72 meter high with 22 floors. However, in 2007 the library was still under construction?!

Back to the features of the building: That the building is fitted with 4646 outdoor LED lights, is not the only unique feature of the building. Also, the building technique on the inside, in de shape of a "rhombicuboctahedron" (by the way: that’s an Archimedean solid with eight triangular and eighteen square faces) is a very system exceptional.

On top of the building is an open-air observation pad offering superb views over the city (open daily from 12:00 untill 22:30). But make sure you don’t visit it on a foggy day or else the BYR 15 000 for the panoramic lift ride will be wasted. On floor 22 there is a indoor observation room with a cafe and a free/clean toilet. The cafe serves wonderful coffees and ice-creams and is open until 23:00.

Technical stuff
Of course this is a long exposure: F3.2, 8 secs at ISO 100. Focal Length: 10.7 mm. The later is due to the wide
converter I used. This converter is also the reason why – if you look closely – you see some sort of a circle in the sky. This is actually the reflection of the outer rim of the converter. Although is a great converter with a big glass surface, it tends to show those marking as a reflection in certain lighting conditions.
I added the copyright sign which is unfortunately necessary due to the frequent coping of my photos. So, making comments on the copyright sign harming the image…it’s alas there to stay!

Posted by Bram du Saar

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