Sunday, August 23, 2009

Klementinum Baroque Library Hall

You know you are a true bookish geek when your idea of heaven might look something like this:

(image from Prague Experience, ©Travel Experience Ltd 2009)

I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful Baroque library hall during my visit to the Czech Republic. Worth every penny of the tour. If you ever get there, make the effort to see it.

Since photos are not allowed (though, if you google it, you will find several clandestine photographers...I am a rule follower, however) I had to grab this photo from the web (though you will see I credited it).

I was super thrilled about seeing this place ever since Jo from Ink and Paper posted about this place on her Belle's library feature. We were able to visit the three parts of the Klementinum open to the public with guided tours: the mirror chapel (gorgeous), the baroque library hall (drool), and the astronomy tower (so cool). Unfortunately, no photos can be taken in any of these three places. I did get some from the top of the astronomy tower looking down over Prague. Here is what it looked like:

(view of St. Vitus' Cathedral)

Anyway, I was absolutely astounded by the baroque hall. That place took my breath away. The photo does not do it justice. It is enormous and brimming with interesting woodwork, painting, old globes, and of course, gorgeous texts. I wanted to spend most of the tour just gazing at this room. It was exactly what I imagined an old library would look like. Doesn't it just make you want one in your home?

The books collected here date from the 1600s until recently, and interestingly enough, none of them are written in Czech. This is a foreign language collection of theological literature. Lots of the books have been deposited there since the Jesuits founded the Klementinum. Apparently, the hall itself has not been changed (in appearance and arrangement) since it was completed in 1722. I guess if something is absolutely perfect, why change it, right? For more info on this place, check out (or I guess I should say Czech out...wow, that was lame) the Klementinum website.

I was too absorbed in thinking about it afterward that I forgot to get a postcard. Argh.

Stay tuned for next Sunday's visit to an old Czech library.


  1. I've seen pictures before and been dazzled. Can't imagine the feeling you must have had touring this place. All those windows and all those books are my idea of heaven. (that is, if someone else dusts and washes the windows.)

    Followed a link from Suey's It's All About Books where she talked about the great time you all had last weekend. I would love to have met fellow Utah bloggers but I had family from Virginia in town. Can't feel too sad about that.

  2. I guess family is more important than random strangers that happen to be book bloggers... Hopefully next time you can come!

    Doesn't every book lover dream of a perfect reading place? This looks like mine.

  3. Totally heaven. Thanks for sharing; I've not seen pictures of that before...

  4. I wish everyone could see it in person. AMAZING!


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