Skip to main content

State Hall of the National Bibliothek of Austria

Prunksaal or State Hall of the Austrian National Library
In the 18th century, Emperor Charles VI commissioned the construction of the court library in the Hofburg. It was built between 1723-1726 from the design of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, the court architect. This Baroque library has 200,000 volumes which date from 1501-1850. The 15,000 volume collection of Prince Eugene of Savoy is part of this collection. It includes valuable manuscripts and books from France and Italy. They are bound in red, blue and yellow Moroccan leather and can be found in the central oval of the library. Together with Google, this historic and copyright-free collection was digitized by the Austrian National Library and is available at www.onb.ac.at.

The statue in the center of the oval is of Charles VI portrayed as Hercules Musarum. It was “allegedly” sculpted by Antonio Corradini in 1735. Behind him are statues of Spanish and Austrian Habsburg rulers sculpted by the Strudel brothers, Peter, Paul and Dominik. These are (l to r) - Archduke Charles II (1590), Don Juan of Austria (1578), King Carlos III of Spain (1740), and Duke Rodolphe IV, the Founder (1365).

The walnut bookcases are decorated with intricate gilding.

Staircase to second floor

There are rooms hidden behind the bookcases.

There are more books in these secret rooms.

Four Venetian globes by Vincenzo Coronelli and measuring one meter in diameter are in the center of the hall under the cupola. 

The fresco on the cupola illustrates the apotheosis (divinisation) of Emperor Charles VI and the allegorical story behind the construction of the library. It was completed 1730 by Daniel Gran.

Marble Corinthian columns lead the eye to the richly decorated ceiling.

From the Habsburg collection, this Evangeliary of Johann von Troppau on the life of Luke, the Evangelist, is from 1368.

Bible Moralisee
This early 13th century book is from the French court. The pictorial bible illustration shows God as the creator measuring the world with a compass. It is one of the most frequently reproduced illustrations from the manuscript.

Evangelistary
This manuscript from the 12th century portrays John the Evangelist with his scribe, Prochorus, to whom he is dictating the Gospel. This is in contrast to the other three evangelists who are portrayed writing the Gospel themselves.

The State Hall is truly an “antique book paradise” as its website aptly describes its collection. 

Where to go: 
Josefsplatz 1, Vienna 
www.onb.ac.at for ticket information. Don’t forgot to ask for a student or senior citizen discount.
Subway U1 (Stephansplatz) or U3 to Herrengasse then walk to Josefsplatz or tram 1, 2, 71, or D to Burgring stop then walk through Hofburg.

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art of Carlos Botong Francisco - Progress of Medicine in the Philippines

Pre-colonial period Pag-unlad ng Panggagamot sa Pilipinas (The Progress of Medicine in the Philippines) is a group of four large-scale paintings depicting healing practices in the Philippines from pre-colonial times to the modern period. Carlos Botong Francisco was commissioned in 1953 by  Dr. Agerico Sison who was then the director of Philippine General Hospital (PGH) together with   Dr. Eduardo Quisumbing of the National Museum, Dr. Florentino Herrera, Jr. and Dr. Constantino Manahan. These oil on canvas paintings measure 2.92 meters in height and 2.76 meters in width (9.71 ft x 8.92 ft) and were displayed at the main entrance hall of PGH for over five decades. Owing to its location, the artworks were in a state of "severe deterioration" at the beginning of the 21st century from exposure to heat, humidity, dirt, dust, smoke, insect stains, grime, termites and an oxidized synthetic resin used in an earlier restoration. These canvases were restored three times, the last was

Filipino Struggles in History - Carlos Botong Francisco

In 1968, Antonio Villegas (then Mayor of Manila), commissioned Carlos "Botong" Francisco to paint the history of Manila for Manila City Hall. The series of large scale paintings was called  Kasaysayan ng Maynila  (History of Manila).  The paintings deteriorated over time and no attempt was made to preserve these historical canvases until 2013 when Mayor Amado Lim sent them to the National Museum for extensive restoration. Four years later, in 2017, Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada and the Manila City Council signed an agreement with the National Museum to leave the paintings at the museum so they may reach a larger audience in exchange for museum grade reproductions to replace the originals. Kasaysayan ng Maynila was later renamed Filipino Struggles in History and is now on display at the Senate Hall of the National Museum . Carlos "Botong" Francisco died in March 1969, a few months after completing the paintings. He is one of the first Filipino modernists and

8 Heritage Houses of Iloilo

Lizares Mansion The province of Iloilo on the island of Panay has a rich trove of heritage houses, left over from the sugar industry boom in the 19th century. Iloilo also had the largest port in the Philippines at that time which facilitated the export of sugar to foreign shores and deposited money in the hands of the sugar barons. The barons dropped their earnings into the acquisition of properties in Negros and the construction of beautiful homes in Iloilo, many of which are located in the vicinity of the Jaro Cathedral. The Lizares Mansion was built in 1937 by Don Emiliano Lizares for his wife, Concepcion Gamboa and five children. The family fled to safety when World War II broke out and the house was occupied by the Japanese military. The family returned to the house after the war but left once again after the demise of Don Emiliano. It was sold to the Dominican order in the 1960s and was converted in 1978 to a private school, Angelicum School. The mansion now houses the