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Austrian National Library – where old tomes reign supreme

Are you a book lover? Have you ever wondered what the bookworm’s paradise or the writer’s utopia would look like? If that’s the case, I think I have a good address for you – the Austrian National Library in Vienna.

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When you push that door, that’s it – you’re in a dream. At least that’s how I felt when entering the Grand Hall of the Austrian National Library. Tall wooden cases laden with old books, stunning frescoes, marble pillars and impressive statues – the magic of the place literally let me speechless.

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Commissioned by Karl VI (whose statue is under the central dome), the majestic baroque hall was built between 1723 and 1726 and it holds some 200,000 leather-bound tomes.

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The ceiling frescoes were completed in 1730 by the court painter Daniel Grans. The exquisite fresco in the cupola, which is 30m high, depicts the emperor’s apotheosis with an allegory on the construction of the Library.

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If I were a book, this is where I would like to live – on one of these shelves…

And it makes you wonder, what are all these books about? What kind of stories do they tell? Who wrote them? And just imagine all the beautiful lettering and calligraphy and illustrations.

I didn’t want to leave. When you visit such a place you always worry that you might have skipped an interesting detail, or some kind of secret code or a secret door somewhere in there.

So, add it to your bucket list and let me know if you discover anything…

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