“We’re getting married. Should we get you a diamond?” -Mr. Big
“No. No. Just get me a really big closet.” -Carrie Bradshaw
Like Carrie I’m not much of a traditional girl. Keep your diamonds, I just want a really big home library, with a rolling ladder, modelled after the Admont Abbey.
A longtime lover of architecture and libraries, I stumbled upon the library of the Admont Abbey five years ago whilst perusing lists of the world’s most beautiful libraries. The library is essentially my idea of perfection. While I will likely continue to visit libraries around the world, I believe none will live up to my impression of the Admont Abbey. I recall saving a picture of the library when I first saw it and mentally dedicating myself to visiting the Abbey one day.
The library is housed inside an abbey run by monks in the tiny village of Admont. While it is accessible by trains and buses, it is much more convenient to drive, so we rented a car in Vienna and made our way, on the Autobahn to Admont, nestled within the alps and requiring many an uphill twisting and turning, actually a really beautiful drive.
I cannot even begin to describe how stunning the library is in person. It is housed beyond two enormous white doors. Let me tell you, opening those doors for me was reminiscent of the scene in Beauty & the Beast when Belle enters her library for the first time.
While I was there the books were roped off, however allegedly they are still available to be checked out! It is amazing how sometimes someone else can create your own aesthetic ideal. I don’t think I could have created a library more perfect if I wanted to. I won’t attempt to put into words the detail of the library, but rather leave a plethora of pictures, with which I attempted to capture its ethereal beauty.
I had the most difficult time leaving the library. I wanted to soak in every last bit of it, as I likely won’t ever return to the most magical place I have ever been. However, there was more to see and do, so I did have to say adieu to the beautiful gilded books and pastel painted ceiling and white marble.
The abbey has several exhibits for art and science, with the monks collecting and studying different aspects of our world. I swear, if I had a y chromosome I would join the abbey and never look back. I have included photos of some of my favourite parts of the abbey outside of the library.
We were staying the night in Hallstatt, about an hour and a half drive from Admont and another gem hidden in the centre of this amazing country. Hallstatt sits on the edge of the water, on the side of a mountain. The views are incredible. With the little cottage style houses and lake at the base of the mountain range. We stayed on the water at the Heritage Hotel, with likely the most beautiful view I’ve ever had from a hotel window.
The village is so small, visitors actually have to park outside the town and be brought in by a shuttle bus! The streets are so narrow, I truly felt for the driver of our shuttle, who was forced to dodge careless pedestrians down a narrow one-way street. We walked around the streets upon arrival, although it was fairly late by the time we arrived and most shops were closed down. We ended up having dinner overlooking the water at our hotel. To end the evening I had a bath in the large tub, which was especially luxurious as the hotel supplies its guests with L’Occitane products!
~This staff is made from the tusk of narwhal!~
~a real sylph!~