Altenburg Abbey in Austria The eighteenth century saw the construction of some of the most lavish libraries ever constructed. Altenburg Abbey in Austria was constructed in 1742. Its grand hall is especially designed to exaggerate the size of the relatively modest collection of books the abbey had at the time. Underneath the library, a huge crypt was designed as mortuary chapel for the abbots. Thus the dead were remembered below, with the library housing the thoughts of the dead above. However it is difficult to think such grim thoughts in such a room so obviously designed to entertain the eye and lift the heart.