This library could be straight out of a Harry Potter movie

The Nottebohm Hall in the Hendrik Conscience Library in Antwerp has reopened. The prestigious Nottebohm Hall of Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience in the heart of the city is rarely open to the public, but at the end of November 2023, the impressive room reopened to the public. “Magical, overwhelming, breathtaking.” Those are some of the words that many visitors now use to describe the room.

Picture courtesy of Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience

The library houses about 120,000 old books. What is new is that the historic library space is now also open to individual visitors. “The Nottebohm room is the hidden gem of the Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience”, says the library staff. “As soon as they enter the room, visitors smell the scent of the 120,000 old books and hear the sounds of the city die down. Strolling across the creaking parquet, they discover Blaeu's iconic globes and all the other masterpieces that are kept there.

The curious can discover the Nottebohm Hall on their own from Wednesday to Sunday. Tickets cost 8 euros. The Nottebohm Hall has been the setting for the highly acclaimed Nottebohm lectures for years. Traditionally, these Sunday morning lectures address a topical theme.