Friday, February 15, 2013

The Gorgeous Library of Parliament Hill

The round, domed section of the Centre Block of Parliament Hill in Ottawa contains one of the most beautiful libraries I have ever walked into. It’s circular form, vaulting ceilings, and pine stacks lining the walls, in addition to the natural light flooding in from the windows all the way around, is just beautiful.

The exterior is equally as impressive, with it’s Gothic style and stone detail. From across the river, it is spectacular as it juts out from the uniform structure of the Centre Block of Parliament Hill, and like nothing I have seen before. Then walking around it’s edge on the actual grounds of Parliament Hill it loomed above

This section of the Parliament buildings was spared the fire in 1916 that destroyed the rest of it. The story told on our tour was that as the building was being evacuated, the caretaker of the library and the last person to leave the room, closed the iron door behind him. And that’s why it still stands today in it’s magnificent glory. A fire lesson for us all!

The smell of pine, the hush of such a grand reading room, and the presence of the royal fittings from London to remind the Canadian government of it’s Commonwealth heritage, including a bust of Queen Elisabeth II, was all so grand.

This tour of Parliament Hill was one of my favourite parts of my long weekend exploring the other Eastern cities of Canada.

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