The Most Fascinating Libraries of the World 05 – the Austrian National Library in Vienna

English: Austrian National Library pano França...
Austrian National Library pano :  Wikipedia)
Kaiserlichen Court Library (Hofbibliothek) in ...
Kaiserlichen Court Library (Hofbibliothek) in Vienna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I visited a friend’s blog one day and I was literary blown over by a picture of one of the most fascinating libraries around – Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. It also gave me an idea of a series of posts about the best, the most beautiful, the strangest and the biggest libraries there are. The libraries that can make you drool, where you would be able to spend an indefinite period of time without noticing, where you would like to live and die till the end of the world (if they only served coffee and cake that is). Perhaps you can’t visit them all but what is the Internet for? I’ll try to illustrate my posts as well as it is only possible, providing, I hope, a nice tour for every visitor around. Enjoy!

 The Austrian National Library (German: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, abbreviated “ÖNB” and formerly Hof-Bibliothek)

It is the largest library in Austria with 7.4 million items in its various collections. The library is located in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. Since 2005, some of the collections have been relocated within the baroque structure of the Palais Mollard-Clary. Founded by the Habsburgs, the library was originally called the ‘Hof-Bibliothek’ (“Imperial Library”); the change to the current name occurred in 1920. The library complex includes four museums, as well as multiple special collections and archives. I really truly wanted to visit it but it was closed due to renovation. Oh well. I can always do a virtual tour and invite you along.

The part especially worth visiting is the Baroque State Hall, which prides itself as being one of the world’s most beautiful historic libraries. It was Emperor Charles VI who ordered it to be constructed as his Court Library. Architect Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach planned its construction, and it was built from 1723 to 1726 by his son Joseph Emanuel. Court painter Daniel Gran, in turn, can be thanked for the beautiful ceiling frescoes.


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