The World’s Largest Monastic Library Is Also One of the Most Beautiful

Admont Abbey, a Baroque monastery in Austria, hosts the world’s largest monastic library, which also happens to be a stunning work of art.

Dating back to the year 1074 when the Benedictine monks of Salzburg decided to found their own abbey in the town of Admont, Admont Abbey is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region of Styria. And while the entire monastic complex is impressive, the 70-meter-long library is undoubtedly the abbey’s main attraction. Featuring flamboyant ceiling frescoes, wooden sculptures, gold busts, gilded bookshelves, and no less than seven frescoes-decorated cupolas, this is definitely one of the world’s most beautiful libraries.

Photo: Jorge Royan/Wikimedia Commons

Largely regarded as one of the great works of art from the European Late Baroque period, because of the way the architecture, sculptures, and frescoes come together to create a visual spectacle, the Admont Abbey Library truly is a sight to behold.


Although the abbey itself is almost one thousand years old, the library itself was designed in 1764 and built in the following years by the Austrian baroque architect Josef Hueber, a follower of the Enlightenment movement, also known as Illuminism.


The seven ceiling frescoes that dominate the Admont Abbey Library were created by Bartolomeo Altomonte, who was over 80 years old when he started working on them. Most of the sculptures that can be admired in the library were created by monastery sculptor Josef Stammel.


The Admont Abbey Library has been around for hundreds of years, but it was only in the last three that it really became a global attraction, thanks to social media. In 2018, while brainstorming ways to reach a wider audience, the monks decided to go all in on the monastery’s online presence.


The monastery’s website was rebuilt from the ground up, but, most importantly, social media became the main promotional avenue. They had one of the most instagrammable tourist attractions in the world, all they needed was to show it off to the world. And that’s exactly what the monks did.


Back in 2018, Admont Abbey had a respectable 4,500 followers on Facebook, but the monks managed to boost that to over 160,000 in the four years since. The abbey also has millions of followers across various other social networks and reportedly reaches 25 million people every month, compared to around 10,000, four years ago.


With decor reminiscent of Disney animated films like Beauty and the Beast and impressive social media marketing behind it, the Admont Abbey Library is now one of the most visited libraries in the world.