ENGEL, Josef Franz
(b. ca. 1776, Wien, d. 1827, Wien)

View of the library

Benedictine Archabbey, Pannonhalma

After the Benedictine Order was re-established in 1802, in the 1820a and 1830s several plans were drawn up for the full, large-scale reconstruction of the ancient archabbey in Pannonhalma. Precedents for the designs probably came from the monastery complexes of Austria and southern Germany. Working as a designer in the first stage of construction was Josef Franz Engel. Although he produced plans for the entire suite of buildings at Pannonhalma, only the library was constructed according to his concept in 1824-26.

The library occupies a separate wing of the building. Its geometrically pure space is covered by a single barrel vault. A gallery supported by wooden columns runs around the room. The decoration is the work of Josef Klieber (1773-1850) who was known primarily as a sculptor, but here he was also responsible for the painted works.