The Laurentian Library in Florence is one of the most important collection of manuscripts in the world, for philological and artistic value, and one of the greatest examples of Michelangelo Buonarotti’s architecture, which he designed between 1519 and 1534.
You can enter the Library from the cloister of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, this is why it is called Laurentian (Laurenziana).
The Library was built at the behest of cardinal Giulio de’ Medici, who later became pope Clemente VII, who put Michelangelo in charge of designing the building; construction was completed in 1571.
The manuscripts collected in the library belonged to the Medici family under Cosimo the Elder, from his sons and grandsons. It is most made up of prestigious copies of private and ecclesiastic collections.
The monumental Michelangelo-styled rooms and the reading room are no longer used as a library, but are open to visitors as a museum instead.