Bibliotheca Bipontina

A Royal Gift

By Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Bipontina Porträt Karl II AugustStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

Most visitors of the State Library in Bamberg have no idea that the impressive Baroque building also houses a magnificent princely library.
The so-called Bipontina Room on the first floor, which is only open to the public during guided tours, hides a truly royal treasure of books: the Library of Duke Karl II. August of Pfalz-Zweibrücken.

This virtual exhibition recounts the story of the collector and how his collection of books found its way to Bamberg. Subsequently, we present some selected items from the exhibition.

The King's brother: Karl II. August of Palatine-Zweibrücken, Portrait in: Johann Nepomuk Anton von Leuthner: Diätetische Pastoral-Arzneykunde für Seelsorger. Nuremberg, 1782Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The King's Brother: Karl II August of Pfalz-Zweibrücken

Karl II. August of Pfalz-Zweibrücken (1746–1795) was the older brother of Bavaria's first King Maximilian Joseph (1756–1825). Both descended from the Pfalz-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler line in the Palatinate. In the year 1775, Karl August suceeded his uncle as Duke of Pfalz-Zweibrücken.

Carte von den beiden Ober-Aemter Zweybrucken und Hombourg (Reproduktion) (1791) by Friedrich HerdegenStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

Pfalz-Zweibrücken around 1800

The Duchy was located on the left bank of Rhine river, close to the French border and also disposed of possessions in Alsace. The capital was Zweibrücken.

This map, drawn and coloured by Friedrich Herdegen in 1791, shows the two administrative units Zweibrücken and Homburg as well as the castles on top of the Karlsberg (above), at Jägersburg, Homburg, Kirckel and Zweibrücken.

Higher resolution:
Munich, Bavarian State Library, Cod.icon. 180 tn

Pfalz-Zweibrücken um 1800Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

On top of the Karlsberg near Homburg, Karl August had built a magnificent castle which became his residence in 1779. The imposing complex was supposed to incorporate his manifold collections which included not only books and paintings, but also prints and drawings and a natural history collection.
At the same time, the castle mirrored the duke's self-conception as an absolutistic monarch.
This coloured drawing by Friedrich and Wilhelm von Lüder from 1791 shows the entire complex.

Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Inv.No. 21853 Z

Dissertatio inauguralis juridica, gewidmet an Christian IV. (1741) by Stanislaus Gustav Ludwig WimpffenStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

The Uncle: Christian IV. of Pfalz-Zweibrücken

The brothers Karl August and Max Joseph had been raised by their uncle Christian IV (1722-1775) due to their difficult family situation. The brothers' father, Friedrich Michael of Pfalz-Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, served as a general field marshal during the Seven Years War (1756-1763). He lived mostly at the Palatine court at Mannheim and died in 1767. His marriage had already failed in 1760. The brothers' mother, Maria Franziska of Palatine-Sulzbach, had to leave the court because she had an illegitimate child with an actor.

09R_1483Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Christian IV was an art-loving monarch who owned an impressive collection of paintings and books. He supported painters, musicians and composers. At Zweibrücken, he founded a printing press and a porcelain factory. He maintained a friendly relationship with the court of Louis XV of France.
Christian IV owned a palace in Paris, which served as a meeting point for important representatives of the French Enlightenment.

Bibliothèque Françoise d. s. Altesse Serénissime Mgr. Christian IV. Duc Régnant des Deux-Ponts (1756)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

When he ascended to the throne, Christian IV transferred his private library to Zweibrücken. It comprised mainly French titles.

Ph.o.496 EbdStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

The covers of numerous books are adorned with his coat of arms which, among other things, shows the Lion of the Palatinate and the Bavarian "Wecken" (diamonds).

Lyrische Gedichte: Bei der Gruft Christians IV. (1786) by Ludwig Philipp HahnStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

In 1751, Christian IV married Marianne Camasse, a French dancer at the Mannheim court. Upon Christian's request, the King of France granted her the title of a Countess of Forbach.
Their six children, however, were not entitled to inherit the duchy.

When Christian IV died suddenly in 1775, his oldest nephew Karl August therefore succeeded him as Duke of Pfalz-Zweibrücken.

Medaille zur Hochzeit Karl Augusts in: Friedrich Ludwig Exter, Versuch einer Sammlung von Pfältzischen Medaillen, Zweiter Theil (1775)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

A Heritage without an Heir

In 1774, Karl August married to Maria Amalie, a daughter of the Saxon elector Friedrich Christian. She was a cousin of King Louis XVI of France. The medal at the bottom left of this page shows profile views of the couple who initially lived in Neuburg on the Danube.

Georg Christian Crollius, Denkmahl Carl August Friderichs des Einzigen (1784)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Their only son Karl August Friedrich, however, died already at the age of eight in 1784. Thus, the hereditary rights fell upon Karl August's younger brother Max Joseph.

Bayern und die Schönen Künste huldigen Carl Theodor. München, Neue Pinakothek (1794) by Johann Jakob Dorner d. Ä.Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The Wittelsbach rulers in Munich and Mannheim did not have descendants entitled to an inheritance either. Elector Maximilian Joseph III resided in Munich until 1777. His death marked the end of the Bavarian line of the dynasty. Therefore, his succeessor was Karl Theodor of Palatine, who moved his residence from Mannheim to Munich. Yet Karl Theodor's only marital son had already died in 1761 during birth. Therefore, Karl August had the chance to inherit the thrones in Mannheim as well as in Munich.

Painting by Johann Jakob Dörner the Elder:
Bavaria and the Fine Arts pay hommage to Carl Theodor, 1794
Munich, Bavarian State Painting Collections, Inv. 3079

Karl August als Sammler Verzeichnis der Bibliothek von Herzog Karl II. August (1791)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Karl August as a Collector

The library at Karlsberg Castle included many collections of different origins. Besides the books of his uncle, Christian IV, Karl August had also inherited works from the property of his father and other family members. In addition to that, he bought the libraries of several important scholars such as the Zweibrücken-based town doctor Johann Theophil Hoeffel (1704–1781) and the coin specialist Friedrich Ludwig Exter (1714–1787).

Bip-Ebd-Montage13Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Deposit copies by printers from Zweibrücken as well as different acquisitions completed the library.
Inside the castle, the books were located in several rooms: apart from the actual library, there was a separate gallery for the arts. Duchess Maria Amalie had her own collection of books.
Books were also provided for the ducal guards and the pages.

09R_1487Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The library was composed of four large rooms, each about 50 meters long. The room-height display cases along the walls had either barred doors or red or blue taffeta curtains.
The spines of the leather-bound books were beautifully gilded, some were even covered with velvet or silk.
Tables and stairs had been put up for readers. However, the Duke carefully guarded his treasures. As the books were primarily reserved for his own use, only a few guests were allowed to visit the library.

Karl August als Sammler Verzeichnis der Bibliothek von Herzog Karl II. AugustStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

Like the library of Christian IV., Karl August's books were arranged by subject. The categories included theology, jurisprudence, belles lettres, philosophy and science, as well as geography and history.

The section Belles lettres (literature) among others lists Goethe's Werther published in 1774, however, not the German original but a French translation.
The Duke was also very interested in works of art. In 1783, he had an art gallery build which accommodated almost 2000 paintings.
Today, most of the surviving paintings can be found at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich.

Brand der Bastille (1789)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The End of the Library: The French Revolution

Due to the proximity of his Duchy to France and his passion for French culture, Karl August was deeply concerned about the political events accross the border. He obtained information about the French Revolution through pamphlets, offcial publications and occasional prints. More than 600 such rare and ephemeral works about the French Revolution from his collection are preserved in Bamberg – a unique ressource for historical research.

Das Ende der Bibliothek: Die Französische Revolution La Bastille dévoilée (1789)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The key event of the French Revolution was the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789. The city prison of Paris, which served as a symbol of the absolutistic rule, was taken by the insurgents with heavy losses on both sides.
Under pressure from the population, King Louis XVI had to move from Versailles to Paris. In 1790, the monasteries were dissolved and all church property was nationalized.
Attempts of the King to flee abroad remained futile.

Les actes des apôtres (1789)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

In August 1792, the National Assembly of France ended the monarchy and imprisoned the royal family. The trial against Louis XVI ended in January 1793 with the death penalty.
The revolution soon came dangerously close to Zweibrücken: From 1789 onwards, numerous noble emigrants from France arrived at the city. Modern ideas of liberty spread amongst the population of the Palatinate.
In 1792, French revolutionary soldiers crossed the border. The areas on the left bank of the Rhine became battlegrounds.

Incursion of French Troops at Karlsberg Castle on February 10, 1793 by Peter Haag-KirchnerStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

In the night of February 9th, 1793, Duke Karl August hastily fled Karlsberg Castle to avoid being imprisoned. He confided his collections to his gallery director Johann Christian von Mannlich (1741–1822) who was able to bring them to a safe place in April.
Karlsberg Castle was set on fire in July and reduced to rubble.

Incursion of French Troops at Karlsberg Castle on February 10, 1793 (Fantasy Representation)
Copperplate Engraving, Augsburg 1793
Speyer, Historical Museum of the Palatinate, BS 849
(Photographer: Peter Haag-Kirchner)

Mannheim by Joseph Anton BartlsStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

The Flight to Mannheim and Karl August's Death

During the first war of the Prussian-Austrian coalition against revolutionary France, many inhabitants of the Palatinate had found refuge in the fortified town of Mannheim.

Fliegende Blätter, dem französischen Krieg und dem Revolutionswesen unserer Zeiten gewidmet (1794)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Amongst them was Duke Karl August, who however died from a stroke already on April 1st, 1795 at the age of 49. Only a few months later, Mannheim surrendered to the French.
Karl August's library and collections, which had been transferred to Mannheim from Kaiserslautern, seem to have been fully rescued, as even smaller and less spectacular items have been preserved.

Max I JosephStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

Max Joseph, the younger brother and heir of Karl August, went into exile to Ansbach. As his territories were occupied by France, he did not have any income. Moreover, he had inherited vast debts from his brother. The Munich inheritance was expected, but as elector Karl Theodor continued to live until 1799, Max Joseph was forced to sell parts of his heritage.

Verzeichniß von der zur Verlassenschaft weyland Herrn Herzog Karls zu Pfalzzweybrücken Hochfürstl. Durchlaucht gehörigen Bücher-Sammlung aus allen Theilen der Wissenschaften und vielen kostbaren Werken bestehend, welche in Mannheim zu verkaufen sind. (1797)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

A bookseller from Mannheim estimated the value of the books from Karlsberg Castle. The auction catalogue was printed in 1000 copies and comprised 3665 titles. They were priced with a value of around 25000 guldens. Only 675 works were sold, rendering a total of 5450 guilders.
Numerous books remained in the hands of family members like Max Joseph and his son Ludwig.

Würzburg vom Stein ausStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

From Mannheim to Würzburg and Bamberg

When the Bavarian elector Karl Theodor of the Palatinate died in 1799, he was succeeded by Max Joseph. However, the territories west of the Rhine fell to Napoleonic France in 1801, and the parts of Electoral Palatinate situated on the right bank of the Rhine became part of Baden in 1803. While Max Joseph moved the extensive library of Karl Theodor from Mannheim to Munich, he had the books of Karl August taken to Würzburg.

Chronik des Churfürstenthums Würzburg (1806)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Würzburg and Bamberg had become part of Bavaria after the dissolution of the prince-bishoprics in Franconia. But as early as in 1806, Würzburg was handed over to the Habsburg Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Tuscany. Hence, the plan to incorporate the books from Schloss Karlsberg into the university library of Würzburg failed.

Szene am Kranen (Reproduktion)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

In consequence, Karl August`s remaining collections were moved to the nearby city of Bamberg.
The paintings were brought to the city`s New Residence, whereas the books were deposited in the premises of the former salt authority, a large buildung opposite Geyerswörth Castle.

Jesuiten-Kollegium und MartinskircheStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

However, the books were not save there. After an attempted burglary, the books were relocated to the Royal Library, since 1803 situated in the former Jesuit college (today part of the University library).
The members of the Wittelsbach family who resided in Bamberg only reserved a few books for their personal use.

Dark Clouds above Bamberg (Reproduction) (1817) by Friedrich Karl RupprechtStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

This image of Bamberg, painted by Friedrich Karl Rupprecht (1779-1831), one of the founding members of Bamberg's Art Society, is considered to be one of the most beautiful views of Germany. The dark clouds above the Domberg, the site of the spiritual rule, as well as the bright sunshine above the city could both be interpreted as an allusion to the end of the bishopric and the new spirit of the Enlightenment. Rupprecht died in 1831 during the restoration of the Bamberg Cathedral.

Tag-Buch über die Witterung und merkwürdigen Begebenheiten vom Jahre 1806 bis 1815 (1806)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

King Max I Joseph and Bamberg

Napoleon, to whom Max Joseph owed his advancement to kingship, signed the declaration of war against Prussia on October 6, 1806, in the New Residence in Bamberg. The campaign against Russia in 1812 also began in Franconia. As a result, 30000 Bavarian soldiers lost their lives. Subsequently, Bavaria switched sides and formed an alliance with Napoleon's adversaries Austria, Prussia and Russia.

The Bamberg Defenestration (Reproduction) (1815) by F. FleischmannStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

On June 1st, 1815, Marshal Louis Alexandre Berthier fell to death from a window of the New Residence. He was married to a niece of King Max Joseph and had served Napoleon as general and minister of war.
Already before Napoleon's deposition, he had switched sides to the King of France. It remains unclear until today whether his defenestration was an accident, suicide, or even murder.

Verfassung des Königreichs Baiern (1818)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

In 1818, Max Joseph granted a constitution for the Kingdom of Bavaria which endorsed the Constitutional Monarchy as form of government and stayed in force until the German Revolution of 1918.

Das fünf und zwanzigjährige Regierungs-Jubiläum Maximilian Josephs Königs von Baiern: gefeiert am 15. und 16. Februar 1824 von den Bewohnern BambergsStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

The 25th anniversary of Max Joseph's accession to power as elector and successor of Karl Theodor was celebrated throughout Bavaria in 1824.

MaximiliansbrunnenStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

On the occassion of the 25th government anniversary of Max Joseph, the magistrate of Bamberg wanted to erect a monument for the King. The town authorities opted for a design by Daniel Joseph Ohlmüller. However, the work came to a halt soon after the pedestal was completed. In the year 1874, the idea of integrating the memorial into a fountain was born. This fountain was finally put up in Maximilian's Square in July 1880 for the 500th anniversary of the reign of the House of Wittelsbach.

Trauerrede bey Gelegenheit der feyerlichen Exequien für unseres allerhöchst verlebten Maximilian Josephs des ersten Königs von Bayern Majestät. (1825)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

However, the King died already in the following year at the age of 70. Funeral services were held in all of Bamberg's churches.

Bipontina Porträt Karl II AugustStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

The 'Bibliotheca Bipontina' stayed in Bamberg. Until 1965, it was housed in the former Jesuit College. As the rooms there did not provide enough space for the growing collections of books, the State Library moved to the New Residence in Cathedral Square in 1965.
At the new location, a separate room was dedicated to the Bipontina, giving an authentic impression of the collection's former glory and thematic variety.

Johann Adam Delsenbach: Kurtzer Begriff der Anatomie (1733)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg


Most medical works of the 'Bibliotheca Bipontina' come from the collection of the Zweibrücken doctor Johann Theophil Hoeffel (1704-1781), whose library was bought by Karl August. Most of the publications are written in German and represent different areas of medicine, amongst them anatomy and obstetrics.

Johann Adam Delsenbach: Kurtzer Begriff der Anatomie (1733)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Doctors as well as artists and collectors sought to acquire a deep knowledge of the human bone structure and the muscular system. In German, muscles were called "Mäuslein" (little mice), a translation of the Latin word musculus.

Justine Siegemund: Die Königlich Preußische und Chur-Brandenburgische Hof-Wehe-Mutter (1756)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

In the light of the high infant mortality rate, which did not spare the offspring of noble families, works about obstetrics were of particular interest for princely courts.

Justine Siegemund: Die Königlich Preußische und Chur-Brandenburgische Hof-Wehe-Mutter (1757)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Christian Franz Paullini: Neu-Vermehrte, Heylsame Dreck-Apothecke (1748)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The "Dreck-Apotheke" (dirt pharmacy) of the town doctor Paullini (1643-1712) from Eisenach is based on ancient theories of body fluids and traditional medical practices. His recommendations concerning the therapeutical use of excretions were already controversial amongst his contemporaries.

Engelbert Kaempfer: Histoire Naturelle, Civile, Et Ecclésiastique De L’Empire Du Japon (1729)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg


In the libraries of Christian IV and Karl August, geography was regarded as a branch of history. The thematical range is wide. Contemporary discoveries of remote countries were particularly fascinating. As early as in the late 17th century, the German botanist Kaempfer had explored Japan.

Histoire Naturelle, Civile, Et Ecclésiastique De L’Empire Du Japon (1729) by Engelbert KaempferStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

The French translation of his work was released in 1729. It contains numerous illustrations of Kaempfer's paintings. Expensive paper made of gold brocade and embellished with chinoiseries was used as endpapers.

Joseph-Anne-Marie de Moyriac de Mailla: Histoire générale de la Chine. (1777)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The Jesuit Joseph-Anne-Marie de Moyriac de Mailla (1669-1748) served as a missionary in China for several decades and translated Chinese works into French. His history of China was printed in 1777, thirty years after his death.

Troisième voyage abrégé du capitaine Cook dans l’océan pacifique (1785)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The travel reports about James Cook's (1728-1779) journeys in the Pacific Ocean were of great interest.
The news of his murder by indigenous people at Hawaii shocked readers throughout Europe.

Curieuse Reise-Beschreibung des Herrn Androphili (1735)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Anecdotal tales about travels in Germany were read as a pastime. Under the name Androphilus, a young nobleman reports from his experiences in Franconia and Saxony. Vivid conversations and descriptions were intended to amuse the reading public.

Georg Rüxner: Anfang, Ursprung und Herkomen des Thurniers inn Teutscher Nation. (1533)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg


Historical literature did not only convey knowledge about events and persons of the past. For the nobility, it also served as a way of self-assurance about their origin and their privileges. Heraldry and Genealogy provided the necessary basis.

Georg Rüxner: Anfang, Ursprung und Herkomen des Thurniers inn Teutscher Nation. (1533)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

This tournament book by the imperial herald Georg Rüxner, which was first printed in 1530, contains descriptions of 36 tournaments that had taken place since the 10th century.
Even though the narrative is in some instances fictional, it fulfilled the purpose of legitimating the nobility's eligibility for tournaments.

Georg Rüxner: Anfang, Ursprung und Herkomen des Thurniers inn Teutscher Nation. (1533)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The coats of arms of the participating knights are rendered in colour. For Rüxner's contemporaries and for posterity, the book therefore served as a genealogical manual demonstrating the nobility's ability for tournaments.

Georg Rüxner: Anfang, Ursprung und Herkomen des Thurniers inn Teutscher Nation. (1533)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Tournaments were also held in Bamberg. The coat of arms of the city shows the knightly saint George, patron of Bamberg cathedral.

Georg Rüxner: Anfang, Ursprung und Herkomen des Thurniers inn Teutscher Nation. (1533)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The tournament book is dedicated to Johann II of Pfalz-Simmern (1492-1557), who had a printing plant established at Simmern Castle. His son Friedrich became the elector of Palatinate in 1559.
The lines Pfalz-Zweibrücken and Pfalz-Simmern shared common ancestors.

Werther (1784) by Johann Wolfgang von GoetheStaatsbibliothek Bamberg


The 'Belles Lettres' division of the 'Bibliotheca Bipontina' comprised many French books. Even works by authors from Classical Antiquity or by contemporary writers from Germany, England and Italy were read in French translation.

Werther (1784) by Johann Wolfgang von GoetheStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther was published in 1774 and became a bestseller. Even though Duke Karl August collected illustrations related to Goethe's Werther, he apparently did not read the French translation of the novel, as the pages are not cut through.

Die Schaaf-Schur. eine Pfälzische Idylle (1775) by Friedrich MüllerStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

The painter Johannes Friedrich Müller (1749-1825) was the son of a baker. Duke Christian I discovered his artistic talent and supported him. In his poems, Müller celebrated the idyllic country life in the Palatinate. In 1778, he moved to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life.

Ernstliche und wichtige Betrachtungen Des Robinson Crusoe (1721) by Daniel DefoeStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

In 1719, Daniel Defoe had published The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. The first realistic novel is based on the travel experiences of an English sailor. As a result of the immense popularity of the book, Robinsonades came into fashion in Germany as well.

Die allerneueste Art, zur reinen und galanten Poesie zu gelangen (1728) by Christian Friedrich HunoldStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

Christian Friedrich Hunold (1680-1721) was a successful author of gallant novels, which he published under the pseudonym Menantes. The financial assets he had inherited were already used up during his studies. Therefore, he fled to Hamburg, where he made a living as an author.

Le Theatre De La Foire, Ou L’Opera Comique (1731)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg


Amongst the literary works of the 'Bibliotheca Bipontina' were numerous plays and opera libretti. Christian IV had already supported the performing arts. From 1751 onwards, he had been married to Marianne Camasse, a French dancer at the Mannheim theatre. Later, she received the title Countess of Forbach.

Iphigénie en Aulide (1774) by Christoph Willibald GluckStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

Christian IV and his wife often stayed in Paris, where they owned a palace.
For several months, the composer and opera reformer Willibald Gluck was their guest there while preparing the first performance of his opera Iphigenie in Aulis.

Iphigénie en Aulide (1774) by Christoph Willibald GluckStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

This opera was instrumental for his musical breakthrough in France and for the success of his fundamental reform of the operatic genre. The printed score is dedicated to King Louis XV.

The Countess of Forbach received a copy as a gift from Gluck, who signed it himself.

Iphigénie en Aulide (1774) by Christoph Willibald GluckStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

At Zweibrücken, the construction of a court theatre began in 1775 and was completed under Karl August. Karlsberg Castle also accommodated a small box theater.

Jean-Paul de Rome d’Ardène: Tractat von den Ranunkeln. (1754)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Botany and Zoology

Karlsberg Castle was surrounded by landscaped gardens and kitchen gardens, which were modified and extended in the course of the years.

Jean-Paul de Rome d’Ardène: Tractat von den Ranunkeln. (1771)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The gardens produced fruits and vegetables for the court table as well as flowers and potted plants for decorating the rooms.

Unterricht von den verschiedenen Arten der Canarienvögel und der Nachtigallen. (1772)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Birds were held in cages and were taught popular songs by playing the flute to them or by using small hand organs. The girl in the red dress is holding such an instrument, a serinette, on her lap.

Unterricht von den verschiedenen Arten der Canarienvögel und der Nachtigallen. (1772)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

For banquets, cages with nightingales were hung between flowering trees.

Unterricht von den verschiedenen Arten der Canarienvögel und der Nachtigallen. (1772)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Franz Xaver Anton Edler von Stubenrauch: Anfangsgründe der Forstwissenschaft. (1771)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The vegetable gardens were later transformed into an English landscape park.
The court gardener was, among other things, responsible for the maintenance of the forestry and the tree nurseries.

Bernard Forest de Bélidor: Architecture Hydraulique, Ou L’Art De Conduire, D’Elever, Et De Menager Les Eaux Pour Les Differens Besoins De La Vie. (1737)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg


As an enthusiast for construction buildings, prince Karl August was not only interested in architecture but also in engineering and in the application of contemporary technology. As a result, the living conditions in the cities in the Palatinate improved.

Bernard Forest de Bélidor: Architecture Hydraulique, Ou L’Art De Conduire, D’Elever, Et De Menager Les Eaux Pour Les Differens Besoins De La Vie. (1737)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The French physicist and military architect Bélidor (1697–1761) published the first manual of hydraulics, in which he described how water power could be used to drive mills and machines. Thus, castle gardens could be watered and embellished with fountains.

Jean Antoine Nollet: Essai sur l’électricité des corps. (1754)Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

The clergyman Nollet (1700–1770) was the first professor for experimental physics in Paris. He also taught the children of King Louis XV and demonstrated the impact of electricity to a wider audience.

Bipontina Porträt Karl II AugustStaatsbibliothek Bamberg

Today, about 11600 books from the 'Bibliotheca Bipontina' are preserved in Bamberg. As many volumes consist of several pieces, more than 15000 items exist.
The printed works can be accessed as .

Credits: Story

A Royal Gift: the Bibliotheca Bipontina in Bamberg
1 July - 28 September 2019

Staatsbibliothek Bamberg

Texts: Bettina Wagner
Photos: Gerald Raab
Layout and English translation: Simone Linz

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.