The Polish Bookstore in Vienna - Polnische Buchhandlung zu Wien was established on May 3, 1984 at Burggasse 22.

The owner of the bookstore – Zofia Reinbacher – came to Vienna in the 1970s. She gained experience in London with the Kulczycki family, legendary booksellers and publishers, in their famous Polish bookstore Orbis at the Odnowa publishing house.

She was persuaded to open a bookstore by prof. Andrzej Zięba, mathematician, astrophysicist and lecturer at the Jagiellonian University. The bookstore dealt in providing Polish emigrants with independent literature, uncensored by the communist authorities. Until 1989, the Bookstore offered a wide range of books from Polish publishing houses operating in the West. These books were unavailable in Poland and their distribution was punishable.

The bookstore’s clients were Polish emigrants who wanted to have access to Polish literature, then unavailable in Austrian libraries. Xięgarnia also offered official domestic publications and over time specialized in supporting the libraries of Slavic studies departments at Western European universities.

After 1989, the number of titles by Polish emigrant publishers gradually decreased – it became possible to cross state borders and have free access to independent literature. The Bookstore’s offer has also changed – interest in fiction and books for children has increased.

In the years 2017-2020, the Bookstore cooperated with the Book Discussion Club at the Polish Academy of Sciences Scientific Station in Vienna.

Today, this small interior with a spiral staircase to the upper floor is filled up with books… The books no longer fit on the shelves. “Xięgarnia” is not only a shop, but also a meeting place for people who want to read in Polish. The clients include both Poles and Austrians, as well as people of other nationalities interested in Poland, its language and culture.