Just visited the library of congress, world biggest library; and one of the oldest. This is a dream comes true. Library is one of my most favorite place, along with Masjid, park, and airport. As an avid reader, being in this huge library felt so amazing.
Briefly on the library. Its history can be tracked to year 1800, few years after the United States was established. This probably shows how US founding fathers respect knowledge. The gigantic beautiful building of the library was first open to the public in 1897, after nine years of construction. For more detail on the history, please to refer to this link.
The main reading room of the library is very beautiful. On the ceiling, there is a painting depicting world’s greatest civilization. To my surprises, the painter included Islam as one of the civilization. This is quite rare, as most western historian will usually skip Islam or bashing it when talking about civilization. For example, in the volume 51 of Harvard Classic book, when talking about Islamic civilization, the first sentence read, “Then came, in the seventh century, a new and even more terrible blast of devastation. Mohammed arose, created Islam, and started the great movement of Arab conquest”. Regardless of that, at least the architect of this building was not that biased. The list of civilizations included in the paintings are: Egypt; Judea; Greece; Rome; Islam; Middle Ages; Italy; Germany; Spain; England; France; and America.
I would highly recommend friends visiting D.C. area to visit this library.