In the 18th century, Emperor Charles VI ordered the construction of the former Court Library in a dedicated wing of the imperial residence. His statue stands in the centre of the State Hall – surrounded by four magnificent Venetian globes. With elegant gestures, he invites you to marvel at
- the some 200,000 books originating from 1501-1850
- the Collection of Prince Eugene of Savoy comprising around 15,000 volumes
- the marble statues of the Strudel brothers
- and the allegorical frescos in the war and peace wings
Dark walnut, stone floors and gold adornments provide the opulent framework for these treasures.
A joy for lovers of aesthetics
Awaiting you is the centrepiece of the impressive baroque library hall, the 30 metre-high oval dome. Time stands still when you look up to take in the magnificent dome fresco by Daniel Gran. It depicts, among other things, the apotheosis of Emperor Charles VI, as well as the allegorical story of the construction of the Court Library.
Antique paradise of books
With its historical holdings, the Austrian National Library is one of the most important libraries in the world. Worthy of particular mention here is the library of Prince Eugene in the middle oval, containing 15,000 volumes bound in red, blue and yellow Morocco leather.
The rich holdings of the Court Library originate from a wide range of different sources: Habsburg collections, purchases from famous libraries, donations, mandatory copies, purchases at book fairs and, since the time of Gerard van Swieten, systematic purchases of new literature from booksellers.
You can find more information in the » Museum Policy.