The Library

Besides the tower and the grammar school one of the most impressive buildings of the archabbey complex is the library. Though the edifice itself was finished in the first third of the 19th century, the idea it represents is fifteen-hundred years old. Saint Benedict lay such a heavy emphasis on reading in monastery life that the work of the monks preserved not only the Christian literature of the early centuries, but also works of the Greco-Roman civilisation. At the same time it created the culture of Europe including our homeland.

The longitudinal part of the building was planned and built by Ferenc Engel in the 1820s. Later János Packh was commissioned with extending the edifice, and the oval hall is his work. Joseph Klieber, a Vienna master was asked to ornament the interior of the building. On the four sides of the oval hall's ceiling the allegories of the four medieval university faculties can be seen: Law, Theology, Medicine and the Arts. It was also he who created the plaster statues of kings (Saint Stephen, the Founder and Francis I, the Restorer), which were recently placed back to their original location. The central painting of the longitudinal hall depicts Pallas Athene (Minerva). On the two shorter walls the portraits of ancient philosophers and scientists can be seen while on the longitudinal walls we find portraits of the outstanding figures of Hungarian cultural history. The selection of the depicted persons reflects the spirit of the age. The persons that not named great minds of the 19th century Reform Era in Hungary.

At the end of the 11thcentury as it is testified by a manuscript (c 1090) from the time of Saint László already 80 volumes (about 200 works) were catalogued in Pannonhalma. At the dissolution of 1786 the collection consisted of 4000 volumes of which in 1802 only 757 volumes and 27 manuscripts were returned to the library of the monastery. The rooms needed to store the books were not many in number. At the beginning, however, the holdings dramatically increased. That was when the construction of a new library was decided.
The holdings of the library have been increasing ever since. As of today, 400 000 volumes are kept in the collection.

Search in the library catalogue of the Archabbey and in other Church library catalogues.

The library is accessible for visitors as stated in the Visiting the monastery menu.

 

The panorama picture of the library can be seen as a "java" application, or the file konyvtar1.exe (617.22 kB) can be run after downloading

Another panorama picture of the library can be seen as a "java" application, or the file konyvtar2.exe (506.46 kB) can be run after downloading