Austrian National Library State Hall

You are here:

Grand Hall of the Austrian National Library

The Austrian National Library is just one of the visitor attractions in Vienna's Imperial Palace. In the former court library, however, the books are only the supporting cast: The impressive Grand Hall is almost 80 meters long and 30 meters high, and is crowned at its center by a mighty dome. The riotously colorful fresco by court painter Daniel Gran shows the "becoming a god" of Emperor Charles VI, who commissioned the construction of the library in 1723. This also stands hewn in marble in the center of the central oval – directly beneath the dome. The other 16 statues show rulers and nobility of the Austro-Spanish Habsburg family.

Books that mean the world

In the total of 128 historic bookshelves and cabinets, more than 200,000 works from the years 1501 to 1850 are arranged and exhibited. Particularly worth mentioning are the approx. 15,000-volume collection of Prince Eugene of Savoy, bound in red, blue, and yellow Morocco leather, as well as one of the biggest collections of Reformation writings by Martin Luther. Unfortunately, these cannot be read here – the works are too fragile and precious for that. Since its construction in the 18th century, the Grand Hall has primarily served as a showplace of imperial heritage. Also among the exhibits are two exquisite Venetian Baroque globes: One for the earth and one for the sky, each with a diameter of more than one meter.

Lavish restoration

The many gildings, decorations in stucco, marble, stone, and metal, and all wooden bookshelves were given a general overhaul in 2022. Lasers were used to deep-clean the timber surfaces. Next, thousands of loose or missing pieces of wood were replaced. The well preserved ceiling frescoes remained untouched, while the paintings near the floor as well as the sculptures and columns received a lot of attention from the restoration team. The valuable books were professionally covered for the duration of the building works. The last step in the work involved removing the old volumes from the shelves one by one, cleaning each one carefully, and then sliding them all back into place.

An affordable way to visit the National Library

The Vienna City Cardgives you discounted admission to the Grand Hall and the other museums of the association, like the House of Austrian History, the Literature Museum (of the Austrian National Library), and the Globe Museum. Tickets for public transport as well as countless discounts for museums, sights, and dining are also included.

Austrian National Library (Prunksaal der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek)

Josefsplatz 1
1010 Vienna
  • Vienna City Card

    • Benefits of the Vienna City Card: -20%

      Additional information on the offer:

      Standard ticket price: 10€ / Reduced ticket price: 8€

  • Opening times

    • Tu, 10:00 - 18:00
    • We, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Th, 10:00 - 21:00
    • Fr, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Sa, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Su, 10:00 - 18:00
    • From June to September it is also open on Mondays from 10-18h

  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps
    • Elevator available
      • Door 90 cm wide
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Guided tours for visitors with disabilities and special needs on prior arrangement.

    • Comments

      Main entrance on first floor and access to Grand Hall on second floor: entrance Josefsplatz.

Rate this article

Fancy more?