King Felipe V established the Palace Public Library in 1712 as a repository for at least one copy of every book published in Spain. As acquisitions occurred and its mission expanded, so did the collection. With now more than 26 million items, Biblioteca Nacional de España is one of the world’s largest public libraries. This impressive, 1896 neoclassical building was designed by Francisco Alarcón. Flanking the entrance of are two statues of learned men. On the left is Isidore of Seville. San Isidoro was a 7th century scholar and philosopher plus the Archbishop of Seville. On the right is Alfonso X. Known as The Wise, he was King of Castile and León during the 13th century.