Sunday, 26 October 2008

Bloody crimes in a magnificent library

As mentioned in my previous post, Gerard van Swieten was head of the court library (Hofbibliohek). The library was built in the 1720s, under Charles VI, and today is known as the Prunksaal, a magnificent baroque library that should make anyone say: Now, this is a library! Van Swieten started systematically obtaining books for the library, and he is commemorated in the huge hall by a bust shown in the photo below.

Until November 2nd this year the Prunksaal houses an exhibition on bloody crimes from Cain's murder of Abel over cannibals to modern mass murderers and the Holocaust: Blutige Geschichte. A gallery of some of the exhibited books and objects is found here.

The photos can't do the baroque hall with its frescos, books etc. justice, so it's obviously a place to visit if you go to Vienna, although you have to hurry if you want to see books on cannibals exhibited next to Van Swieten :-)

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