Library of Pannonhalma Abbey, Hungary

Memories of the library of Pannonhalma Abbey stand out clearly in my mind. Walking into the library was like walking into a hall with huge walls made of books. They were stacked right up to the ceiling. Hard bound old books, their titles gleaming in golden color, I had to restrain myself from pulling out one from the rack there. These are collections from centuries; it is the largest private library of Hungary.

Books are the essential objects in the life of a monk, the guide explained. Education is a big part of their lives. Since this monastery existed from the times of origin of Hungary, the collection here is understandably huge. The Tihany manuscript in the earliest Hungarian language is here. The ceiling of the hall is painted beautifully with various Greek Gods and Goddesses. The student boarders and their teachers avail the facilities of this library.

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