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Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Admont Abbey Library, Austria

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Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Admont Abbey Library, Austria
@monalogue
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Admont Abbey Library, Austria
@monalogue

The World's Largest Monastery Library

Admont Abbey is a Benedictine monastery on the Enns River in the town of Admont, Austria. The name Admont comes from the Latin expression ad montes, meaning "at the mountains", fitting, as the monastery sits on the borders of the scenic and mountainous Gesäuse National Park.

Dedicated to Saint Blaise, Admont Abbey was founded in 1074 by Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg. The oldest remaining monastery in Styria, Admont Abbey contains the largest monastic library in the world, as well as a long-established scientific collection, a true repository of the knowledge gathered across the centuries. This library is one of the largest late European Baroque creations, represented in its architecture, frescoes, sculptures, paintings, elaborate limewood carvings, manuscripts and printed works.

The seven ceiling frescoes reflect the spirit of the Enlightenment and were painted by the then 80-year-old Bartolomeo Altomonte (1694 – 1783) in the summer months of the years 1775 and 1776. They show the various phases of human understanding: beginning with thought and speech, through the sciences and arts, and finally culminating in Divine Revelation in the central cupola.

The library itself holds over 70,000 volumes, while the Abbey in total owns nearly 200,000 books. The most valuable among these are the more than 1,400 manuscripts (the oldest dating to the 8th century AD) and the 530 incunabulae (books printed before 1500).

On April 27, 1865, fire nearly destroyed the entire monastery. While the monastic archives burned, the library could be salvaged, and reconstruction began the following year and would continue until 1890. The economic crises of the 1930's forced the abbey to sell off many pieces in its treasured art collection, and during the period of the National Socialist government, the monastery was dissolved and the monks evicted. They were able to return in 1946 and Admont Abbey is again a thriving Benedictine community today.

Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Admont Abbey Library, Austria
@monalogue
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Admont Abbey Library, Austria
@monalogue



Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Admont Abbey Library, Austria
@monalogue
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Admont Abbey Library, Austria
@monalogue
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Admont Abbey Library, Austria
@monalogue
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Admont Abbey Library, Austria
@monalogue

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