In addition to private rooms and state apartments, the Hofburg contains a library of about 800,000 volumes, 7000 incunabula and 24,000 MSS., including the celebrated "Papyrus Rainer"; the imperial treasury, containing the family treasures of the house of Habsburg-Lorraine, and other important collections.
The accumulated treasures of Meshed `Ali were carried off by the Wahhabites early in the 19th century, and in 1843 the town was deprived of many of its former liberties and compelled to submit to Turkish law; but it is again' enormously wealthy, for what is given to the shrine may never be sold or used for any outside purpose, but constantly accumulates.
It already, however, bore within it the germ of decay; the accumulation of treasure in the capital had led to a corruption of the simple manners of the earlier times; the exhaustion of the tribes through the heavy blood tax had roused discontent among them; the plundering of the holy places, the attacks on the pilgrim caravans under the escort of Turkish soldiers, and finally, in 1810, the desecration of the tomb of Mahomet and the removal of its costly treasures, raised a cry of dismay throughout the Mahommedan world, and made it clear even to the Turkish sultan that unless the Wahhabi power were crushed his claims to the caliphate were at an end.
There is a splendid museum of medieval and Renaissance antiquities in the Bargello, the ancient palace of the Podesta, itself one of the finest buildings in the city; among its many treasures are works of Donatello, Ghiberti, Verrochio and other sculptors, and large collections of ivory, enamel and bronze ware.
We learn that in the year 418 " the Romans collected all the treasures that were in Britain, and hid some of them in the earth, that no man might afterwards find them, and conveyed some with them into Gaul."