Is this the most beautiful library in the world?
The Admont Abbey Library in Austria
The largest monastic library in the world - Admont Abbey is a Benedictine monastery that sits long the Enns River in the beautiful town of Admont in Austria. Known for its Baroque architecture, art and manuscripts, the abbey dates back to 1074, with the library completed in 1776. It was commissioned by Abbot Matthäus Offner (reigned 1751-1779) and built by the Graz Master Builder Josef Hueber (1715-1787).
Containing over 200,000 pieces of literature, the library is divided into three sections and has an overall length of 230 ft, a width of 46 ft and 36 ft in height (12.7 m in the central cupola). Adorning the ceilings are seven frescoes by Bartolomeo Altomonte who was 80-years-old at the time and completed the frescoes over the summer months of 1775 and 1776. The frescoes depict the steps in 'man's exploration of thinking and speaking from the sciences to Divine Revelation in the central cupola'.
Housed within the stunning space are sculptures, which were made by the master Baroque sculptor Josef Stammel. Particularly famous is The Four Last Things, a group of four oversized presentations of Death, the Last Judgement, Heaven and Hell.
A visit of a lifetime awaits lovers of arts and culture, a chance to explore the most valuable treasures in literature, which include 1,400 manuscripts (the earliest from the 8th century) and the 530 incunabula (early printed books before 1500).
The Admont Abbey's library & museum opens again for the season from March - November 2 2014, to find out more visit the official website here.