With over 200,000 historic books, the unique library hall is one of the most beautiful in the world and was last subjected to extensive conservation measures in 1955. Now the 300-year-old baroque splendour got a makeover: the State Hall was therefore closed for restoration work until 31 December 2022.
Almost 70 years after the last comprehensive restoration of the interior in 1955, extensive conservation and restoration work was now being carried out. Gilding, elements made of stucco, marble, stone and metal, and last but not least the historic bookshelves were being restored in elaborate steps. The valuable books were professionally covered during the restoration and were removed from the shelves one by one and cleaned after the work was completed.
The former Court Library was built in 1723-1726 according to plans by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach by his son Josef Emanuel Fischer von Erlach and required renovation after only a short time: Structural damage in the dome meant that the building, erected on the site of the former riding school, was at risk of collapsing. As a result, massive pilasters were erected in the interior, and iron anchors and rings were installed to prevent the collapse. These renovation measures were carried out from 1765 to 1767 by the Austrian-Italian Baroque architect Nicolaus von Pacassi. The dome fresco was also damaged in the process, and was restored by the famous painter Franz Anton Maulbertsch.
When Prince Windisch-Graetz and the imperial troops began shelling the city on 31 October 1848, a fire broke out in the Hofburg and the roof of the Court Library went up in flames. The history painter Franz Geyling restored the damaged dome fresco in 1849-1850.