Georgetta Rios

Georgetta Rios

Published: 25 Sep 2023


The Braidense National Library is a treasure trove of knowledge and history, located in the heart of Milan, Italy. With its rich collection of books, manuscripts, and artworks, the library stands as a testament to human intellect and creativity. But there is much more to this remarkable institution than meets the eye. In this article, we will delve into 17 astonishing facts about the Braidense National Library that will leave you in awe of its importance and significance. From its impressive architectural design to the fascinating stories behind its collections, you are about to discover the hidden gems that make the Braidense National Library a cultural icon. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and prepare to be amazed by these extraordinary facts!

Table of Contents

A Historic Legacy

The Braidense National Library, also known as the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, was established in 1770 by the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. It has since become one of the most renowned libraries in Italy.

A Vast Collection

The library boasts an extensive collection of over 1.5 million books, including rare manuscripts, incunabula (books printed before 1501), and valuable antique editions.

Unique Special Collections

One of the highlights of the Braidense National Library is its special collections, which include a vast assortment of maps, prints, drawings, and autographs, offering a glimpse into different periods of history.

A Literary Haven

Writers, researchers, and bibliophiles from around the world flock to the library to access its impressive collection of literary works, making it a hub for literary studies and research.

Home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Atlantic Codex

The library proudly houses the Atlantic Codex, a renowned collection of drawings and writings by the legendary artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci. This priceless work is a testament to the library’s commitment to preserving and promoting art and culture.

Welcoming Scholars and Academics

Beyond its role as a library, the Braidense National Library serves as a place of study and intellectual exchange, attracting scholars, researchers, and academics from various disciplines.

Preservation of Cultural Heritage

The library’s dedicated team of experts works tirelessly to preserve and conserve its valuable collection, employing advanced techniques and technologies to ensure the long-term survival of these unique artifacts.

A Window to the Past

The books housed in the Braidense National Library are not just pieces of literature but gateways to history. They provide a fascinating insight into different eras, cultures, and perspectives.

Magnificent Architecture

The library’s building itself is a masterpiece of architecture, blending neoclassical and late Renaissance styles. Its grand halls and intricate details create a serene and inspiring atmosphere for visitors.

An Ever-Expanding Collection

The Braidense National Library continues to acquire new materials, expanding its collection to ensure that it remains a hub of knowledge for generations to come.

Rare Manuscripts Galore

If you’re a lover of rare manuscripts, the Braidense National Library is a dream come true. Its collection includes illuminated manuscripts, handwritten documents, and ancient scrolls.

A Bibliophile’s Paradise

Book lovers will be thrilled to explore the library’s extensive stacks, filled with countless literary treasures waiting to be discovered.

A Hub for Cultural Events

The library hosts various cultural events, including book launches, author talks, exhibitions, and workshops, fostering a vibrant intellectual community.

A Reservoir of Knowledge

The Braidense National Library serves as a vital resource for researchers, providing access to a vast array of topics and disciplines.

Preservation of Local History

The library actively collects and preserves materials related to the history and culture of the Lombardy region, ensuring that the local heritage is safeguarded.

Digital Transformation

To adapt to the digital age, the library has initiated digitization projects, making select materials accessible online and preserving them for future generations.

Open to All

The Braidense National Library is not just for scholars and researchers; it is open to the public, encouraging a love for learning and providing a space for all to explore the wonders of knowledge.

The Braidense National Library truly stands as an emblem of intellectual pursuit and cultural preservation. With its vast collection, rich history, and commitment to knowledge, it continues to inspire and captivate visitors from around the world.


Braidense National Library is a true treasure trove of knowledge and history. With its stunning architecture, extensive collection of books and manuscripts, and rich cultural heritage, it is a must-visit destination for book lovers and history enthusiasts. Whether you’re exploring the magnificent reading rooms, delving into rare and ancient texts, or simply soaking in the serene ambiance, Braidense National Library offers an unforgettable experience. So, next time you’re in Milan, don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the mesmerizing world of Braidense National Library.


1. How can I access the collection at Braidense National Library?

To access the collection at Braidense National Library, you need to register as a reader and obtain a library card. This can be done by providing a valid form of identification and filling out the necessary forms. Once you have your library card, you can access the books and manuscripts in the library’s reading rooms.

2. Are photocopying and photography allowed inside the library?

Photocopying and photography are generally not permitted inside the library due to preservation concerns. However, you may be allowed to take photographs for non-commercial purposes by obtaining permission from the library staff.

3. Can I borrow books from Braidense National Library?

No, borrowing books is not allowed from Braidense National Library. The collection is for on-site reference and research purposes only. You can spend as much time as you need with the books within the library’s reading rooms.

4. Is there an entry fee to visit Braidense National Library?

No, there is no entry fee to visit the Braidense National Library. It is open to the public, and anyone interested in exploring the library and its collection can do so free of charge.

5. Are there any guided tours available at Braidense National Library?

Yes, guided tours are available at Braidense National Library. These tours provide a deeper insight into the history of the library, its architecture, and its collection. It is recommended to book the guided tour in advance to ensure availability.