Fan question: British Library?

So, I have a bit of bad news about my readers. I show many family and friends this blog because I wanted an honest and truthful feedback circle for all my blog posts. I knew before I started this blog that it would not be the most interesting, and that is why I asked for a bit of advice and honest criticism. What I had forgotten about before I started this blog is a little thing called bias. I can’t talk about the building design or construction of the British Library without having some form of bias regarding the library itself, even though I think it is one of the best architectural works ever to be constructed and completed within the entire United Kingdom’s history.

This means I am going to make todays blog post a little different. Instead of speaking to you guys about how I feel regarding the British Library, I would love for you to share some of your own thoughts on it.

For the rest of this post however, I will be discussing some obvious facts about the history of the British library, so I cannot be accused of being bias, or even having a side in the fight so to speak.

The building itself was only created in 1973, even though it feels as if the Library has been around forever. It was only created due to the governments belief that a national library was necessary for the culture of the United Kingdom, as the original national library was simply a section of the British Museum. Over time, the assets and items that the library held had been swapped, traded and borrowed until the library absorbed its own selection of materials.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to discuss about the library for me. I wanted to get really in depth about the architecture and design of the building itself, but alas. Either way, please do share your thoughts on the building and more specifically, it’s design and read some of my past blog posts from the last few days too!

Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Unfortunately, I was a bit side-tracked yesterday due to my love of all things Greek. If you haven’t been able to guess it yet, I am half Greek. Hence my love and touch with the culture. Maybe this blog is why we voted for Brexit? Who knows. Either way, it was enjoyable but now I want to get back to the original discussion. There are many amazing libraries in the world, and I wanted to create this blog to promote those same libraries and to share my love and enthusiasm for knowledge and wisdom. What do you know, the Greek in me wants us to learn!

I will be a little bit cheeky here and discuss an almost Greek library. However, this library is currently standing so I am not cheating too much here. I briefly discussed the Bibliotheca Alexandrina when discussing the Great Library of Alexandria, but the Bibliotheca is one of the most popular and famous libraries currently standing around the world. The library itself was only built 15 years ago, as the construction of the library had been completed in October of 2002. The reason I have decided to call it an almost Greek library is due to it being constructed after its namesake. The building is a major library and cultural centre built in Alexandria both in name and in the vein of the Library of Alexandria. It was built in remembrance of the great library.

There are a few reasons that the building and the design itself is so special for a library. When most people think of a library they think of a run-down building with books that are as old and decrepit as the building itself. However, the dimensions of this specific library are so large, that it could hold a total of eight million books on the shelves alone. This doesn’t even account for the number of books that could be stored. The actual main section of the library (the reading room) is 220,000 square feet, which is extreme on its own. Then you consider the fact that this main reading room has a grand total of eleven different levels to it.

The building was not only designed for the book space and the reading centre. The library itself becomes more of a complex when you consider the conference centre that it also homes. There are also 6 different specialised libraries built into the library itself, with four different art galleries to house temporary exhibitions for famous and local artists. There is also a section of the library built to assist disabled people such as the visually impaired and blind. There is a section created specifically for children with maps and multimedia. The library itself also has 4 separate museums and even has a planetarium built into the complex. Finally, the library has a grand total of 15 different galleries built into the complex for 15 separate permanent fixtures.

The architecture of the building itself is as impressive as the inside contents. One example is the roof that is inaccessible for most. There is a 32-meter glass panelled roof that you can see from the inside at the main reading centre for natural light. Apparently, the building had been constructed to point towards the Mediterranean coast, and to act the same was as a sundial simultaneously.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, and tomorrow I want to discuss the British Library. There are many builders Manchester based companies lent to help construction of the British Library, and made us all proud to take part in. One such company was:

It means a lot to me, so I would love to talk about it! Anyway, make sure to check out some of my previous posts too!

Greek Architecture

This blog post today is going to be partly inspired by the post that I made yesterday regarding the great library. I wanted to discuss a little about the ancient Greek architecture as I think the buildings and the landmarks are fascinating. There are many amazing pieces of architecture that has been created by the ancient Greeks, and sadly many of the buildings that they had erected no longer stand. This is either through wars in history or time degrading the buildings. Either way, I think many of them were truly beautiful and I think it is a brilliant idea that they are beginning to restore some of the older architecture that is currently standing. Although many believe that Greek architecture mainly revolves around temples, but this is a common misconception. They created many buildings for multiple uses, and despite the purpose many of them are still beautiful.

One of my personal favourites that I am glad is currently going through a restoration period must be the Parthenon. This building is an ancient temple to the Ancient Greek gods, and it was constructed in Athens. As it was built in Athens, you may be able to deduce that it was built in dedication to the goddess Athena. The temple itself had taken 15 years to complete and was finally finished in 432 BC. The building itself hasn’t just become a landmark for modern Greece, but also one of the defining landmarks for Greek and Ancient history altogether. The building is even described as the most important surviving aspect from Classical Greece. Some people say that it be a vocal point of classical Greek art and as an enduring symbol of the Greek empire and the country.

While I would like to discuss the Parthenon a bit more, there are many buildings that can be discussed from both ancient and classical Greece. Another classical Greek building that is still standing today is the Heraion, otherwise known as the temple of Hera. The temple of Hera was constructed in Olympia, and the temple is one of the oldest in the entirety of Greece. The temple itself, is one of simple design. Even though it is one of the most beautiful in the whole of Greece, the temple itself follows a simple building plan of three rectangles within each other. The temple itself was obvious dedicated to the Greek goddess Hera, who was the wife of Zeus. Just after the temple of Hera had been constructed, the famous Temple of Zeus had been constructed.

The Temple of Zeus is one of the most magnificent to have been built. The temple of Zeus had been created in dedication of the Greek god Zeus and had finished construction by 457 BCE. Unfortunately, this is one of the few ancient Greek architecture that is no longer standing within the country. The temple itself was destroyed in 426 AD and turned into a sanctuary, which was later intentionally destroyed. Before the temple was destroyed however, it once housed the statue of Zeus, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

I hope you enjoyed todays post. I think that ancient Greek architecture is still relevant today because it caused a reimagination of art and building design years after its end. Please make sure to stick around for future and past blog posts too!

Alexandria Library

The most famous library in the world because of its influence and landmark in world and ancient history is the Library of Alexandria. Some people also consider the Library of Alexandria to be one of the great wonders of the world in history. I believe that while the library itself isn’t considered common knowledge around the world for any age group, anyone that knows anything about the world or history itself is familiar with the library. The library built at the time was one of the largest and most significant of its time and had been built within Egypt as a dedication to the Muses. In fact, the library itself was so significant for its time that it was considered a major centre for scholarship and intellect for 3 entire centuries due to the amount of works that it had collected throughout history, the lecture halls residing within the building and the gardens and meeting rooms in the building itself. It was the capital of knowledge and wisdom and considered one of the best places for scholars due to the great library residing in the Library of Alexandria. There was an estimated 40,000 – 400,000 scrolls within the library itself during the peak of traffic.

Even though the library was built in Egypt, it was built by the Macedonians, specifically the general Ptolemy I, who was successor to Alexander the Great. It is thought that the library was named after Alexander the Great because the city of Alexandria was named after him, but this cannot be confirmed. However, rather than the library being famous for it’s namesake and the fame and stature that the library provided for the scholarly world it had become famous for the destruction of the library. The library has its name sketched into history for being burnt down, and it is entirely unknown who had burnt the library down or even when it was officially destroyed. There are theories that anything from earthquakes to small fires over the time of its standing all the way to Julius Caesar burning the library down himself as an act of destruction.

Despite all the many stories that have been provided regarding the library, the library will not be forgotten in history because of how amazing the building was. The building was not only large, but from all reports in history it was also very grand and royal in terms of architecture. It is also believed that the many scrolls and artefacts within the building had been moved to various other libraries or academic buildings of the time before the destruction of the building itself. There are some theories that many of the scrolls had been moved to places such as the House of Wisdom, the Library of Constantinople after the conquering of lands by Alexander the Great and other libraries. As a slightly interesting factoid, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was named after the great library, giving it a smaller but just as important legacy within its name today.

The library had been one of the great buildings within the history of the world, especially when considering the academic and intellectual benefits that it has provided the world. Although this blog is mostly about libraries, the Library of Alexandria has made me want to discuss one or two more ancient Greek structures that had been built and destroyed in history. However, I hope you enjoyed todays blog post and check out some of the posts I have made in the past!

Mans greatest building!

I decided to create that Dancing Pheasant blog to create some awareness and discuss one of the greatest inventions known to man: The Library. There are so many libraries around the world that are famous and infamous for many reasons throughout history, and while we will discuss those in a few future blog posts, I also want to raise awareness for some of the smaller libraries in the world you may have never even heard of. I have always enjoyed libraries as I used to study in them all the time when I was younger, and I have also designed a few libraries myself. I even once led the building of a library a long time ago, and it’s always been a service close to my heart.

Libraries have historically been a place of education, learning and intelligence and throughout the world they have done nothing but benefit society and those who are in a quest of knowledge. In some libraries, you will find hundreds of pages of information for any subject you can think of, and even certain subjects and topics have their own libraries dedicated towards information for them. Libraries have also been a place where many can congregate to learn together and provide a place of social interaction that may not be suitable otherwise.

Libraries are situated in many cities around the world, and it is almost necessary in todays age for every city or place of population to have a library that is stocked with information for anyone of any age. The variety of topics that they cover, genres they cover and even subjects they cover within those genres means that there is such an extensive amount of knowledge throughout the world and they are all placed within library books. You may not realise the wealth of knowledge and the information that is housed within a library, but when you step foot into one it is almost overwhelming the feeling that you get. You know that there are collective hundreds of thousands of years’ worth of research, knowledge and work that had been put into the books inside the library.

There is another thing that I really enjoy about libraries all around the world. Libraries have a distinctive look and design to them. Some of them are created and designed to be grand and beautiful looking, while others are designed simply like another building. One library that I have seen in the past looked exactly like a primary school, mainly consisting of multiple colourful walling and glass colours. I remember when I first saw it that it would be the perfect design to ingratiate children into learning and education using libraries, because the design made the library look like a fun and enjoyable place to be. It looked exciting and appealing to children, and it is what we need more of.

However, I do not want to undersell the amazing libraries that have been built throughout history. There are so many different libraries as grand and as amazing as the next, and while some may find them to be old fashioned, I still find them to be beautiful. There is such an elegant design to most libraries throughout the world, the libraries design almost gives prestige just for the look itself.

I can’t wait to discuss some of the many libraries around the world. I hope you stick around to see some of the posts in the future!