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The state library building was modeled on the style of the early Italian Renaissance and was completed in 1842, although the impressive stairwell-based on the design of the Scala dei Giganti in Venice's Doge Palace-was not built until later. The monumental structure with its 25 axes, is the largest brick building in Germany (155m wide, 24m high). The building can only be entered by climbing the open staircase in front of the portal, which features sculptures of Aristotle, Hippokrates
, Homer and Thukydides
. The library ranks, together with Berlin, as the largest in Germany, with some 7 million volumes.