Located within the Hofburg - the Hapsburg winter palace - the Vienna National Library is the largest such library in Austria, with 7.4 million items. Originally called the Hapbibliotek, or Imperial Library, its oldest collected work is the 1338 golden "Holy Gospels". In 1722, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI authorized the construction of the permanent home for the library within the Hofburg. Today, the Palace is the official residence and work space for the President of Austria.
The State Hall, one of the most beautiful historical libraries, was constructed between 1723 and 1726 and takes up the whole width of Josefsplatz (Joseph's Square). Built as a private wing to the Hofburg Palace, the State Hall was originally the court library. This palace wing measures 77.7 meters long, 14.2 meters wide, and 19.6 meters high ( while the dome reaches a height of 30 meters). In the oval shaped center is the larger than life statue of Charles VI. Throughout this historical library are several marble statues of emperors, plus four large baroque globes by cartographer Vincezo Coronelli (1650-1718). The library contains over 200,000 volumes collected between 1501 and 1850. The rear of the library abuts the Hofburg Palace proper and was originally used as the entrance by the Emperor. All through the library are a dozen "hidden" doorways - bookshelves that open up on hinges - to reveal rooms behind the stacks, used for studying reference works.