Switzerland
Stiftskirche Sankt Gallen

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  • Day5

    Saint Gallen City / Abbey, SG

    February 10 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌬 6 °C

    Saint Gall

    The compact metropolis of eastern Switzerland between Lake Constance and Appenzellerland has a charming, traffic-free old town. Colourfully-painted oriel windows are a town feature. The Abbey precinct with the cathedral and Abbey Library has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage listing.

    St.Gallen’s most famous landmark is its Baroque cathedral with the Abbey Library, which houses some 170,000 documents – in part hand-written and over a thousand years old. The library probably also has Switzerland’s most beautiful Rococo hall. The entire Abbey precinct was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983.

    The name and foundation of the town stem from the Irish missionary monk Gallus who founded a hermitage here around 612. From 747, the then St.Gallen monastery was already following Benedictine Rule, which required the contemplative study of books and accordingly also stipulated the presence of a library. In the Middle Ages, the town developed into an important hub of culture and education in Europe. Later, the St.Gallen embroideries attracted international recognition and brought prosperity to the town.

    St.Gallen is a university town with a focus on the economic sciences. The home town of the renowned «Mummenschanz» theatre group offers a varied cultural offering with theatres and museums. In summer, the romantic art-nouveau Dreilinden-Weiher open-air pool with its splendid views over the town attracts visitors to swim.

    The excellent location in the four-country corner Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein make St.Gallen the best starting point for excursions into the Appenzellerland with the Säntis, and to Lake Constance. Whether by rail or bicycle, the cycling and inline paradise of Lake Constance can be reached quickly along the Lake Constance Cycle Path. The combination of rail ‘n’ bike allows captivating tours to be undertaken which cross national borders. For walkers, the ‘Bridge Trail’ which passes over 18 bridges in the Sittertobel near St.Gallen is an experience: much about the design and construction of bridges is learnt en route. A six-hour section of the ‘Route of St. James’ leads from Rorschach to Herisau via St.Gallen.

    The Voralpen-Express connects Lake Constance with Lucerne via St.Gallen in 2:45 hours. This 149-km-long transversal travelling across the foothills of the Alps is interesting from a technical rail viewpoint, but also impresses with stunning landscapes such as the Toggenburg, Lake Zurich, and hill moor of Rothenturm.

    Winter

    Located between Lake Constance and Appenzell with its famous library, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the traffic-free Old Town delights guests with brightly painted oriel windows, pretty boutiques and cosy cafés.

    Summer

    Located between Lake Constance and Appenzell with its famous library, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the traffic-free Old Town delights guests with brightly painted oriel windows, pretty boutiques and cosy cafés.

    Abbey of Saint Gall
    In St. Gallen you'll find history at every turn. The city's landmark is the Convent of St. Gall with its Baroque cathedral. The convent, including the library and monastery archives, was added to the Unesco World Heritage List in 1983.

    Even today, the spirit of the once active Benedictine monks is palpable when you enter the world famous Abbey Library, which also is called the Seelenapotheke (healing place of the soul).

    The abbey precinct with its magnificent Baroque cathedral forms a unique historical ensemble. The Abbey Library - with Switzerland's most beautiful non-ecclesiastical Baroque hall - now contains 170,000 books. 50,000 of these are housed in the Baroque hall, where the 2,700 year old Egyptian mummy Shepenese is also to be found. The heart of the Abbey Library collection consists of 2,100 manuscripts of which some are on display at each of the current exhibitions. The entire abbey was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1983.

    One striking feature of the old city is its many 16th to 18th century burgher houses with their splendid and often brightly painted bay windows. The city boasts a varied gastronomy with venues ranging from the traditional first-floor restaurants to the welcoming street cafes. Here you'll be tempted to linger and enjoy local and international specialities. The town is also an ideal starting point for hikes within the Appenzell and St. Gallen region.
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Stiftskirche Sankt Gallen

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