Travel Tips in Austria: Admont Abbey Library in Styria

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: April 19, 2023; 17:01 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Admont Abbey Library makes a decisive contribution to the attractiveness of Styria as a vacation destination and inspires visitors worldwide to visit Austria.

The world's largest monastic library is at Admont Abbey in Styria, Austria. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons /Jorge Royan, CC BY 3.0 (

As the monastery has become increasingly well known, inquiries from major tour operators from abroad have also increased massively, and Austria is becoming a more popular tourist destination.

For the monks who work at the Benedictine Abbey of Admont, however, the Abbey Museum has more than just tourist purposes. They also see the extensive collection, which has been assembled over the centuries, as an essential instrument for communicating the faith, as the cultural representative of the Benedictine Abbey of Admont, Father Michael Robitschko, points out.

This extensive collection includes some 200,000 volumes stored in the monastery library and archives, as well as natural history exhibits and works of art from the Middle Ages to the present. "As the oldest monastery in Styria, we are naturally very pleased that there is so much interest in our museum. Therefore, we will present a relaunch of our museum for our 950th anniversary, which we will celebrate next year." In addition to a wide range of tourist attractions, there will be other highlights in the anniversary year. Among them, are numerous special church services, cultural events, as well as scientific conferences.

International popularity

At the beginning of the year, a report by the French press agency AFD triggered a veritable avalanche of reports about Admont Abbey Library. "In January, we had a reach of 600 million people and were represented in more than 50 countries worldwide," Mario Brandmüller, Head of Culture, Tourism, and PR at the Benedictine Abbey of Admont, is pleased to report.

At the same time, the Microsoft web portal ( even voted the Admont Abbey Library number one among the most beautiful libraries in the world. That the global coverage not only boosts the visitor numbers of the Admont Abbey Museum properly - in April 2023 alone, admissions were increased by around 30 percent compared to pre-Corona times - but also gives a boost to Styria as a whole, is now also emphasized by Managing Director Michael Feiertag, Steirische Tourismus und Standortmarketing GmbH, "The Admont Abbey Library can quite decisively add value to the attractiveness of Styria as a vacation destination, and it is already doing so."

Sophisticated marketing strategy

If one takes a look at the worldwide trends, it is "absolutely important to create a digital distribution and a digital offer," says Feiertag. After all, Feiertag points out, practice clearly shows that, in addition to the sophisticated marketing strategy that has helped the Abbey Museum achieve worldwide recognition, the digital guided tour offer also plays a major role in getting people excited about a stay at Admont.

With its innovative measures, the Admont Collegiate Museum is thus one of those leading tourism businesses "that also take care to ensure that Styria is at the absolute top," as the Styrian Tourism and Location Marketing GmbH managing director emphasizes. The close Styrian reference in the orientation of marketing strategies is also emphasized by Admont Abbey's PR boss Mario Brandmüller: "It is absolutely important to us that the Admont Abbey Library is always associated with Styria and Austria. This is of great importance in all our activities and thus also comes into play in worldwide reporting."

About the Admont Abbey

Completed in 1776, the Abbey Library of Admont Abbey, founded in 1074, is a Baroque monastic library wing in Admont in Upper Styria. It has been called the eighth wonder of the world in the past. At 70 meters long, 14 meters wide, and about 13 meters high, it is the world's largest monastic book room. This hall houses about 70,000 of the monastery's total book collection of 200,000 volumes.

This concept was in the spirit of the Enlightenment: light was equated with knowledge and was to flood the monastery library. The ceiling frescoes by Bartolomeo Altomonte (1694-1783), completed in 1776, show the various stages of human knowledge leading up to divine revelation in the central dome. Below them, on the shelves, are editions of the Bible and the Fathers of the Church; in the northern part of the hall, theological literature; and the southern wing, books of the profane sciences.

The library contains over 1,400 valuable manuscripts, more than half of which are from the Middle Ages. The number of incunabula (books printed until 1500) and early prints (printed works from the period 1501-1520) amounts to more than 530.

The oldest holdings are gifts from the first monks from their mother monastery St. Peter in Salzburg and from the monastery founder Archbishop Gebhard. During the 12th century, the important scriptorium produced manuscripts both for its use and for foreign monasteries.

Due to a large number of artistically decorated manuscripts and incunabula (ornaments, miniatures, woodcuts), the holdings represent a considerable art collection. From a scientific point of view, the Admont manuscript and incunabula collection offers a wealth of valuable source material for numerous fields of research, such as the Admont Bartholomew from the 15th century for the history of medicine.

Since 2000, this collection has been housed in a specially created security archive. In annually changing exhibitions on a specific theme, a part of these valuable books and manuscripts is exhibited in a separate room in the museum.

Abbey Admont