Obscura Day 2017! Join our global celebration of exploration and discovery.
May 6

Vienna, Austria

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library)

The beautiful baroque library of the Hapsburg empire. 

The Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library) is a breathtaking baroque masterpiece, finished in 1726.

Formerly the court library to the Hapsburgs, it is one of the world’s major libraries, with an extraordinary collection that dates back to the 14th century. The current collection contains around 2.5 million books.

Visitors can visit many special collections in addition to the main halls, which include prints, maps, papyri, portraits, music, and theater. But the magnificent library itself is the focal point here. Among the exhibitions are two exquisite Venetian baroque globes — one for the Earth and one for the sky, each with a diameter of more than one meter.

Keep your eye out for library employees slipping through concealed passages hidden behind certain bookcases.

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