A Book Lovers Heaven: the Austrian National Library (Vienna, Austria)
I have no idea how I haven’t shown you guys photos of this jaw-dropping place in Vienna yet but I was looking over my Vienna posts and it doesn’t seem to exist (at least I hope not since I’m writing about it and all right now). Vienna’s National Library (aka Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) wasn’t on the top of my list of things to do in Vienna but I managed to find time to walk around and it was amazing. I may or may not have accidentally walked in with a school group, but that’s neither here nor there.
It makes sense that it’s Austria’s largest library, with over 12 million items, since it’s located in a wing of the Hofburg Palace in the heart of Austria’s capital. The library has existed since the Medieval Ages when Duke Albert III of Austria moved his collection of books there from a vault in the 14th century. The library has a complicated past with the Nazis and World War II because so much art and literature was seized from Jewish families. But since 2003, over 32,000 pieces have been returned to their rightful owners, though there are still many more that have to still be returned.
The most stunning part of this epically stunning museum is the Prunksaal, aka the central structure of the whole place. It has sky-high ceilings covered in beautiful paintings, perfectly kept marble floors, and books spanning almost as high as the main dome. It is a sight to be seen and I highly recommend it if you visit Vienna, for sure. It definitely should’ve been on my list of things that were MUST-DOs.
You could easily spend hours looking at all the exhibits there. To learn more, including when they’re open to visitors, check out their website. Happy reading, fellow bookworms!