From the direction of Kálvin tér a lovely pedestrian-only street beckons the arrivals; there, located among residential buildings, the towering stately edifice of Wenckheim Palace, housing the Central Library, can be found.
The Neo-Baroque masterpiece built in the 19th century has been the main building of the public library of the capital since 1931.
The reconstructed and enlarged complex developed at the turn of the millennium has its present-day form by connecting two historic listed buildings and a newly built modern edifice; now it is considered as one of the most beautiful public libraries in Europe.
Visitors can enter the building from the direction of Reviczky utca; the sometime inner courtyard was altered into covered atrium.
Moving on along information and circulation points we reach a stately spiral staircase that connects the floors of the three buildings.
On the ground floor and the lower floors of the building you can experience the hectic atmosphere of Browsing Department, community spaces (public spaces), open access area. Going upstairs you get to reading rooms, spaces for intense studying and research.
Both Sociology Collection and Music Collection provide valuable national and foreign specialized literature; the Budapest Collection has a unique document collection on the past and present of the Hungarian capital.
Walking in the Central Library that houses the holdings of nearly 1.5 million documents you can see how impressive when the architecture of past and present meet.
No doubt, the most beautiful reading rooms were developed in the sometime saloons of the Wenckheim Palace.
The reception hall and ballrooms were supplemented with unique pieces of library furniture designed by industrial artists, so they preserved original antique features.
The sometime Living Room of Wenckheim family, with the spiral stairs leading to the wonderful graven gallery, the beautiful chandelier and marble fireplace is one of the most favourite reading rooms in the library; now it is the Reading room of philosophy.
The sunny reception hall is a magnificent venue for literary and music programs. Opening from the hall there are saloons where permanent exhibitions are set up by Music Collection and Budapest Collection.
The commodious ballrooms are deservedly popular spaces for silent learning.
The former Dining Room, now it is the Reading room of arts, astonishes visitors by its richly ornamented Renaissance carvings, walls covered with gilded and embossed paper and huge glass chandelier.
Groups of visitors can go to see the former ornamental staircase which fascinated the members of aristocracy when balls and social events were held in the 19th century.
The carved ornaments of fascinating interiors in the Children’s Dragon Library as well as the huge stone statues in Dragon's court were made by the inspiration related to dragons on stone banisters.
Opposite to the main entrance of the library, there is another stately listed building - the Pálffy Palace - with its imposing garden and the ceremonial hall which houses the concerts organized by the Music Collection.
Please visit the website old.fszek.hu/ to see our services; some of them are also available by remote access.