Selma Daughtry

Written by Selma Daughtry

Modified & Updated: 17 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Klementinum Library is a true marvel of architecture and knowledge. Located in Prague, Czech Republic, it is one of the oldest and most beautiful libraries in the world. Stepping foot inside this 18th-century masterpiece is like entering a world of intellectual wonder and artistic beauty.

With its stunning Baroque style and ornate ceiling frescoes, the Klementinum Library is an enchanting sight to behold. But there’s more to this library than just its aesthetics. It holds a rich history and some mind-blowing facts that make it a must-visit for any book lover or history enthusiast.

In this article, we will delve into 14 fascinating facts about the Klementinum Library that will leave you in awe of its grandeur and cultural significance.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Klementinum Library in Prague is a stunning historical treasure with a vast collection of books, ancient globes, and hidden gems like the Theological Hall. It’s a must-visit for book lovers and history enthusiasts.
  • The library’s Baroque architecture, astronomical tower, and appearances in Hollywood movies make it a captivating destination. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, preserving centuries of knowledge and culture for future generations to enjoy.
Table of Contents

Magnificent Architecture

The Klementinum Library, located in Prague, Czech Republic, is renowned for its stunning architecture. The library’s interior features exquisite Baroque-style design, with beautifully crafted ceilings, intricate frescoes, and ornate bookcases that lend an air of grandeur to the space.

Historical Significance

The Klementinum Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, dating back to the 17th century. It was originally part of the Jesuit College and was later opened to the public, becoming a hub of knowledge and learning for scholars and intellectuals.

Vast Collection of Books

With over 20,000 volumes, the Klementinum Library boasts an extensive collection of books, spanning a wide range of subjects including theology, philosophy, and literature. It is a treasure trove of knowledge, attracting researchers and bibliophiles from around the world.

Unique Astronomical Tower

The Klementinum Library is also home to an impressive astronomical tower, offering visitors breathtaking panoramic views of Prague. The tower houses a historical observatory, where astronomers once studied the heavens and made important celestial discoveries.

Stunning Baroque Chapel

Within the Klementinum Library complex, visitors can explore the magnificent Baroque-style Chapel of the Miraculous Mother of God. The chapel’s intricate details and stunning artwork make it a must-see attraction for art enthusiasts.

Hidden Theological Hall

Beneath the Klementinum Library lies a hidden gem known as the Theological Hall. This hidden hall features a jaw-dropping collection of theological books, adorned with beautiful carvings and paintings, creating an atmosphere of intellect and spirituality.

Starred in Hollywood Movies

The Klementinum Library’s captivating beauty has caught the eye of filmmakers, leading to its appearance in several Hollywood movies. It has served as a stunning backdrop for scenes in movies such as “The Illusionist” and “Casino Royale.

Striking Baroque Ceiling Frescoes

A true work of art, the Klementinum Library showcases breathtaking ceiling frescoes by the renowned artist Jan Hiebl. These elaborate paintings depict various historical and allegorical scenes, adding to the library’s grandeur.

Ancient Globes Collection

The Klementinum Library houses a remarkable collection of ancient globes, including terrestrial and celestial globes. These historical artifacts provide a fascinating glimpse into how early scholars viewed and understood the world.

Home to Rare Manuscripts

Deep within the Klementinum Library’s vast collection, one can find rare and valuable manuscripts dating back centuries. These precious documents offer a unique insight into the intellectual and cultural history of the region.

Captivating Book Barrels

An intriguing feature of the Klementinum Library is its collection of book barrels. These cylindrical bookcases, known as “libri canecellarii,” were used to store books in the past and add a touch of charm to the library’s ambiance.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

In recognition of its historical and cultural significance, the Klementinum Library is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its preservation and protection are of paramount importance to ensure future generations can appreciate its beauty and legacy.

Magnificent Baroque Hall

The main hall of the Klementinum Library is a sight to behold. Its grand Baroque architecture, adorned with elegant stucco decorations, creates a mesmerizing atmosphere where one can immerse themselves in the world of knowledge.

A Haven for Book Lovers

The Klementinum Library is a true paradise for book lovers. Its peaceful and inviting ambiance, coupled with its vast collection of literary treasures, makes it the perfect place to indulge in the joy of reading and exploration.


In conclusion, the Klementinum Library is a true architectural masterpiece steeped in history and beauty. With its stunning Baroque design, vast collection of books, and unique features, it serves as an embodiment of intellectual pursuit and reverence for knowledge. The library’s astronomical tower, exquisite frescoes, and intricate details captivate visitors from around the world.

Stepping into the Klementinum Library is like stepping back in time, allowing one to immerse themselves in the grandeur of the past. It stands as a testament to the importance of preserving and celebrating our cultural heritage. Whether you are a book lover, a history enthusiast, or an admirer of breathtaking architecture, the Klementinum Library is a must-visit destination that will leave you in awe.


1. How old is the Klementinum Library?

The Klementinum Library has a long and rich history, dating back to its establishment in 1722. It has stood for nearly three centuries, serving as a hub of knowledge and culture.

2. Can visitors access the Klementinum Library?

Yes, visitors can access the Klementinum Library. Guided tours are available, allowing visitors to explore its stunning halls, marvel at its beautiful frescoes, and learn about its history from knowledgeable guides.

3. Are the books in the Klementinum Library accessible to the public?

No, the books in the Klementinum Library are not accessible to the public. Most of the books are valuable historical artifacts that are carefully preserved. However, visitors can still appreciate the beauty of the library and its unique architectural features.

4. What is the significance of the astronomical tower in the Klementinum Library?

The astronomical tower in the Klementinum Library was used for scientific observations in the past. It housed various astronomical instruments and allowed astronomers to study the stars and planets. Today, visitors can climb the tower for a panoramic view of Prague’s skyline.

5. Is photography allowed inside the Klementinum Library?

Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the Klementinum Library. This is to ensure the preservation of the fragile books and artworks that adorn the library’s halls.

Klementinum Library's awe-inspiring facts leave you craving more architectural wonders, historic libraries, and cultural treasures. Satisfy your curiosity by exploring the Baroque architecture of Austrian National Library, where stunning designs and rich history await. Historic libraries like Herzogin Anna Amalia Library beckon with their fascinating stories and timeless charm. For a deeper dive into the Czech Republic's literary heritage, uncover the extraordinary facts about its National Library, a true gem in the heart of Europe.

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