The Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) was once the Royal Library of the Habsburgs, one of Europe's most powerful families. It is housed in a spectacular baroque building, which is almost as spectacular as the books and artifacts that it holds.
This is the largest baroque library in Europe and is almost 20 meters high and 80 meters long, and over 7.4 million items are housed here. Sections of the library include the State Hall (Prunksaal), Map Collection and Globe Museum, the Papyrus Collection, the Esperanto Museum, old and precious prints and a Music section.
One of the most impressive exhibits here are the two Venetian globes, both with a diameter of over a meter.
Although the thought of visiting a library on holiday probably doesn't appeal to most people, this is truly an exception. The majority of visitors are not so much interested in the contents of the library, rather the interior and exterior of the building itself. It is possible for a small cost to do a tour of the State Hall (Prunksaal), which is possibly one of the most impressive places in Vienna.
Tours of the Prunksaal, Map and Globe Museum, the Papyrus Collection and the Esperanto Museum are all available for a small cost. Opening times differ depending on the section in question, as such it is best to check directly with the Library for specific opening times.
The library is located in the Hofburg Palace, in the center of Vienna.
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