Tour of Faust's Study

Please note:  Faust's Study is temporary closed to visitors for technical reasons. Tours of Faust's Study aren't running.

Faust's Study - the special repository of incunabula
Faust's Study - the special repository of incunabula
The Gotic Hall or Faust's Study is a special repository for incunabula — books published in Europe from the invention of the printing press by Gutenburg to the end of 15th century. The Gothic Hall, built in the middle of the 19th century, was stylized to resemble a cell of a medieval scribe. It was so vividly reminiscent of the room of a scholar from the Middle Ages that soon was given the name of "Faust's Study".

The National Library's collection of incunabula is the largest in Russia. Faust's Study houses many the Library's most valuable and rarest possessions. During the tour, groups can see rare examples of book art and bookbinding, as well as books from the libraries of famous historical figures: Louis XIV, Anna of Austria, Marquise Pompadour, Cardinal Richelieu, Napoleon I and others.

Visitors will also be given an opportunity to view  European and Russian volumes of the 15th-18th centuries and West European miniature books, Bibles in different languages and liturgical books printed in ancient Slavic alphabets, french materials from the 1871 Paris Commune and erotica books, Polish publications from the Uprising of 1861–1865.

The library is truly without rivals for its stock of early Russian printed books. Here one can find Slavonic incunabula, editions issued by Slavonic printshops in the Balkans, Venice and Ugro-Wallachia, the works printed in Cyrillic in the 16th century, including all the known publications of Franzisk Skorina.

Noteworthly is the world's largest collection of books in the simplified civil orthography from the time of Peter the Great. Among the Rare Department's treasures are Burckhard von Piirkenstein's Geometry (1708), the 1708 book of rules for ladies on how to start writing and express your feelings, the General Geography by the Dutch cartographer Bernhard Varenius (1718), as well as the first Russian newspaper Vedomosti (1703) and other rarities.

Visitors will learn about the Library of the 1st Cadet Corps (the former Land Knight Academy) in Saint Petersburg. The library of the military school for noblemen was called one of the main city's attractions already at the late 18th century. This is one of the few educational universal libraries that has survived from the 18th and 19th centuries to this day.


The tours are arranged on 2nd and 3rd Wednesday of every month from 11:00 to 16:00, except state holidays.

The tours are available for groups of up to 15 people per guide.

The tours will take about an hour and start from the Main Reader Entrance, located at 1-3, Ostrovsky Square.

Please note! Admission to Faust's Study is only by a library card. If you are not our reader, you can join the Library.

Coats and bags (including backpacks) should be left in the cloakroom.

Advance booking is recommended. To book a tour you should write us date, time and number of people. You can order the guided tour of the Faust's Study by e-mail -


  • group tour (6-15 people) - 2500 rubles per person (we waive the fee for interpreters accompanying a group);
  • individual tour (up to 5 people) - 11000 rubles.
  • Contact us: +7(812) 310-83-36, +7(812) 718-85-20,, Ekaterina Medvedeva
  • Date and time: 2nd and 3rd Wednesday of every month from 11:00 to 16:00
  • Tours are conducted in Russian.  For other language-speaking groups, we work through an  interpreter
  • Duration: 45–60 min
  • Age requirement: 12+
  • Address: 1-3, Ostrovsky Square, Saint Petersburg
  • Entrance: Main Reader Entrance
  • Admission: by a library card

Rare Books Exhibition Hall
Rare Books Exhibition Hall
Early Printed Book in Faust's Study
Early Printed Book in Faust's Study
Early Printed Books in Faust's Study
Early Printed Books in Faust's Study
Chained Book in Faust's Study
Chained Book in Faust's Study



Location Maps

Reader Registration

Floor Plans

Using the Reading Rooms

Food, Drink

Cloakrooms, Storage, Wi-Fi


Book Shop

The Library is open
Monday—Friday from 9:00 to 21:00;
Saturday, Sunday from 11:00 to 19:00.

The Library is closed on public holidays and last Tuesday of each month.
On pre-holidays, the Library is open from 9:00 to 16:00.