If you are a bit of a book nerd like me, then during your travels you will love to visit bookish places. If books are not your thing, you will still want to visit this library because it is simply beautiful! I am talking about the State Hall in the Austrian National Library.
The State Hall is located in one of the wings of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. It was first built in the 1700’s and now houses more than 200000 antique books. A good portion of the books were the private collection of Prince Eugene of Savoy.
The State Hall is 77 metres long, and the magnificent frescoes throughout were painted by Daniel Gran. It is the largest Baroque library in all of Europe.
As well as books, the State Hall is home to some antique globes. They are all quite large, with a diameter over one metre each.
During our visit there was a large display about the history of the Freemasons. It was actually quite enlightening reading about this secretive group. The displays change over time, so it is worth more than one visit to see what the latest is.
I absolutely loved my visit to the State Hall. I swear I walked around with my mouth hanging open, it is a booklover’s dream place. If only I could get my hands on some of the old books and have a look, but unfortunately there was no touching. Fair enough I suppose, since some of the books date back to the 1500s. (I would have been kind though. I never bend page corners and can’t possibly crack the spine of even the most common bestsellers!)
Entry to the State Hall was €7. We received a small discount as we had the Vienna City Card so paid €6.30
The State Hall is only one small part of the Austrian National Library. It is possible to also visit other collections and museums while you are here. For more information, including opening times and admission prices, please visit the website here.
Looking for more things to do in Vienna? Have a look at the other things we did here.
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Josie is a forty-something budget traveller. She only discovered travel in her late thirties, but since then has travelled extensively including taking an adult gap year. She is now based in Australia and loves sharing all she has learned about travelling on a budget but with the comforts a Gen Xer requires.