Completed in the 1700s, after over 170 years of construction, the Klementinum is comprised of three structures – the Astronomical Tower, Meridian Hall, and a library. Though a number of architectural styles were used among the buildings, the library itself, which opened in 1722, reflects the Baroque period.
Inside, a collection of over 20,000 books line the walls. Overhead, mesmerizing ceiling frescoes, painted by artist Jan Hiebl, create a domed effect. Through masterful techniques, Hiebl was able to create the illusion of natural sunlight pouring into the space.
At the time of its opening, the library was part of the Czech Republic’s Jesuit University, and much of its massive collection consists of historic theological literature.
Today, however, the Klementinum library is run by the State Library of the Czech Republic, and is open regularly to the public. To plan your visit, head to klementinum.com.