Image by Carly Hulls Lonely Planet
Austria’s flagship library, the Nationalbibliothek, contains an astounding collection of literature, maps, globes of the world and other cultural relics; its highlight, though, is the Prunksaal (Grand Hall), a majestic baroque hall built between 1723 and 1726, with a fresco by Daniel Gran. Commissioned by Karl VI (whose statue is under the central dome), the library holds some 200,000 leather-bound scholarly tomes. Audio guides cost €3.
Rare volumes, mostly from the 15th century, are stored within glass cabinets, opened to beautifully illustrated pages of text. The exquisite fresco by Gran depicts the emperor’s apotheosis.