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Frontpage News 2012 Restoring the Strahov Library


Restoration of the Strahov Library

  • The Norway Grants support the restoration of one of the oldest and most important libraries in the Czech Republic.

    The Philosophical Hall of the Strahov Library in Prague is part of the 12th century Strahov monastery complex which annually attracts 250 000 tourists, visitors and researchers. The Strahov library contains more than 110 000 volumes, including 1200 incunabula or pre-15th century handwritten books. It is one of the oldest libraries in the Czech Republic, and is also the biggest private research library in the country.

    Gejza Šidlovský, director of the library, said the much needed restoration of the Strahob librarty have been on hold for the last 13 years due to a lack of funds. The €1.6 million grant from the Norway Grants will allow the restoration works to finally be carried out.

    In addition to repairs on the roof and furniture, the wooden cassette floor and the 18th century ceiling frescoes will be restored. The central part of the western wall is marred by a crack and the frescoes are damaged by a water leakage which diluted the colours. Part of the ceiling frescoes were painted over and modified in the 1950s, but they will now be restored back to their original splendour.

    The restoration is expected to last until December next year, but the library will remain open to the public throughout this period. The library hosts several cultural, social and educational events throughout the year.

    Read more about the restoration

  • Country:

    Czech Republic

    Project title:

    Reconstruction of the Strahov Library. Restoration of the Philosophical Hall

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Conservation of European cultural heritage


    € 1,592,416



    Type & project assistance:

    Individual Project

    Project promoter:

    Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians

    Type of institution:


    Project website:

    Project duration:

    20 months

    Project cost:

    € 1,873,430

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    Norway Grants

    Grant agreement date:

    07 April 2009

    The purpose of the Project is to restore the Philosophical Hall at the Strahov library in Prague, with the overall objective of conservation of European cultural heritage in the Czech Republic. Reference is made to the application dated 17 September, 2008 and to any subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point.

    The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:

    - scaffolding, moving and storage of books;

    - restoration of the ceiling painting, cassette floor and library bookshelves; and

    - publicity and project management.

    The Project Promoter is the Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians at Strahov. Subject to national law, the Project shall be implemented in partnership with the National Archive of the Czech Republic.

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic provides at least 15 percent of the total eligible Project costs.