Poznan

Raczyński Library

  Pl. Wolności 19 ,   Old Town         23 Oct 2018

Founded in 1929 by Count Henryk Raczyński (the man responsible for the Poznań Waterworks), this institution was the first public library in Prussian-occupied Poland. The original collection was amassed by Raczyński himself mostly from dissolved monasteries, but it quickly grew thanks in part to a decree by King Frederick William III, obliging all publishing houses to donate a copy of each published book to the library. Tragically, 90% of the collection was burned during WWII, save for some 17,000 valuable tomes which had been stolen by the Nazis and carted off into the Reich; however, by 1994 the book count was back to over 250,000. The classicist facade of the library, built between 1822 and 1828, was modelled on the Louvre and designed by French architects Ch. Percier and P. F. Fontaine. The building sustained heavy damage during WWII and was rebuilt in the 1950s; in 2013 a new wing opened just behind the original, facing Al. Marcinkowskiego.

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