If you’re a book lover like me, prepare to have your mind blown. I take that back. Prepare to have your mind totally obliterated.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid, otherwise known as the Grand Splendid Theater, literally has the words “grand” and “splendid” in the name, so you can’t be that surprised to find out that it’s utterly spectacular. We’re talking “ugly cry and forget to take a picture for Instagram” spectacular. It’s that good.
The original theater was built in 1919, and it looks like something straight out of 1920s Hollywood…even though it’s located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Isn’t she gorgeous?
Instead of letting the theater fall into disrepair, it was converted into a bookstore in 2000. But not just any bookstore.
Instead, they built the mother of all things literary and beautiful.
They kept the original stage and replaced the seating with rows and rows of books.
They also made sure to preserve the original carvings and artwork.
It’s okay if you need a minute to pull yourself together. I understand.
In 2008, the El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookshop was voted the second most beautiful bookstore in the world by The Guardian, but if you ask me, it was robbed of the number-one spot.
I mean, just look at it.
I will never be able to shop at a mall bookstore ever again. If you need me, I’ll be applying for my visa. Argentina, here I come.