The library in the palace was founded by Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, in 1572. Under the learned book collector and Prince of Peace Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, it amassed the largest book collection in Europe and was seen as the eighth wonder of the world. The current library building was constructed between 1883 and 1887 in the style of a Florentine palazzo, replacing the ramshackle 18th century library rotunda.
Behind its mighty walls lies a modern, internationally renowned research library with an inventory of around 1 million tomes. In the library’s museum, visitors from all over the world can marvel at the written gems of times gone by. Without a doubt, the Gospels of Henry the Lion – which were purchased at auction in London in 1983 for 32.5 million Deutsche Mark and have now found their permanent home in Wolfenbüttel – are quite simply the greatest treasure in the Bibliotheca Augusta. They are the biggest visitor attraction and one of the most magnificent medieval manuscripts with the most art historical value.
The Herzog August Bibliothek is expected to close its museum operations until fall 2021 due to construction work.