As part of the fabled Hofburg Palace, the Schmetterlinghaus is an art nouveau greenhouse that plays home to fluttering legions of butterflies. A visit here will see you strolling past trickling waterfalls, hollow trees and tropical landscaping adorned by nature’s daintiest insects, gently flapping their wings. Your tour through the garden’s two levels concludes with a short film, providing insight into the inner workings of this tiny, ethereal world.
“Bochord” is the Old English word for a book hoard — imagine if a dragon was stockpiling books instead of gold. Few places on Earth can eclipse the grandeur of the term … but the Austrian National Library is certainly one of them. There are some 2.5 million books housed within this breathtaking baroque masterpiece, some of which date all the way back to the 14th century. You could easily make a day perusing the centuries of knowledge on display here — or you could make a game out of spying the librarians as they slip through hidden passages within the bookcases.
Paperwork has never seemed so precious as it does at the Austrian State Archives. There’s over a millennium’s worth of municipal records preserved here — history buffs will delight in tracing Austria’s history through the political documents of watershed moments. Additionally, there’s a conservation workshop and library containing a mere 800,000 books ranging from the Habsburg Empire to Austria’s modern political parties, all organized chronologically (if you’re looking to add to your to-read list).
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