Cistercian Historic Library, Zirc

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

The Cistercian AbbeyNational Széchényi Library handles the library of the Cistercian Abbey built in the first half of the 18th century and moved into a new building in 1847.

The historic library can be found on the second floor of the Abbey building. The first books had been brought here by the monks of Heinrichau in the 18th century when they came and founded again the Cistercian Abbey. The number of books grew to over 60,000 volumes by 1950 when the Hungarian state took possession of the library following the dispersal of the monks of the Cistercian Order.
Fortunately, National Széchényi Library was allotted the task of its maintaining and this task has been performed by NSZL ever since.

The collection comprises around 60,000 books and 15,000 volumes of periodicals, as well as several thousand posters and small prints. Cistercian Historic Library in Zirc owns 70 items of incunabula and approximately 400 antique documents, out of which several pieces are the only copies in Hungary. Themes of the stock range from theology via history to physics as well as a lot of other disciplines.

The splendid inlaid fittings and floor in the main reading room, masterpieces of applied art and library architecture, make Cistercian Historic Library a major tourist attraction. The library can be viewed with professional guides. Guests may become acquainted with the history of the library and the Cistercian Order. They can also view an exhibition of books as well as the main hall which is furnished by inlaid wood well-known throughout Europe.

Cistercian Historic Library in Zirc takes on two major tasks:

As a museum, it operates regular guided tours, so visitors may get acquainted with one the main relics of cultural history in Hungary. As a special library, it offers valuable treasures, including a whole lot of old books, and a separate Reading Room for researchers.

Opening hours of the Museum:

  • Guided tours are held every 30 minutes within opening hours (starting at .15 and at .45)
  • From 15 March until 14 November: Tuesday to Sunday, between 9.00 and 17.00.
  • From 15 November to 14 March: Tuesday to Sunday, between 10.00 and 16.00.

Information, arrangement

Opening hours of Reading Rooms:

  • On appointment prior to arrival,
  • Tuesday to Friday, between 9.00 and 16.00.


  • Rákóczi tér 1. H-8420 Zirc, Hungary
  • Tel.: (+36 88) 593 800
  • Fax: (+36 88) 593 801
  • E-mail