UNESCO World Heritage

Abbey of St. Gall

1400 years of cultural history

The foundation stone for the abbey was laid in 612 by the Irish itinerant monk Gallus. A good 100 years later, Abbot Otmar revived the monastery and transformed it into an important centre for writing activities and book illumination. The spirit of the Benedictine monks can still be felt in the historically impressive walls today. The Abbey Library of St Gall, also known as the pharmacy of the soul, has what must be one of the most attractive rococo halls in Switzerland. Besides the 170,000 books, it also accommodates one of the most important autochthonous collections of medieval manuscripts in Europe. The Plan of St. Gall, the “Evangelium Longum” and the oldest conserved German language book, the “Abrogans”, are particularly worthy of note.

Factsheet
Date of Inscription

1983

Criteria of Inscription

ii, iv

Category

Cultural Heritage

Region

St. Gall

Info Filter

Visitor centre
Abbey of St. Gall
The exhibition The Miracle of Tradition – The Plan of St Gall and Europe in the Early Middle Ages focuses on the unique abundance of early medieval ...
Learn more
School excursions
Abbey of St. Gall
After an introduction to the origins of the abbey of St.Gallen and to medieval book culture in the vaulted cellar and in the abbey library, we will get to know the ...
Learn more
School excursions
Abbey of St. Gall
Learn more
School excursions
Abbey of St. Gall
How did a child grow up in a monastery? What did a monk own? An animated film, documents and writing materials give an insight into life in the early Middle Ages ...
Learn more
Educational material
Abbey of St. Gall
You can find other explanatory videos here: The World Heritage Lavaux, vineyard terraces Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes Swiss Alps ...
Learn more
School excursions
Abbey of St. Gall
Around the year 600, a group of monks from Ireland went on pilgrimage to the mainland. One of them was Gallus. The monastery of St. Gall was founded at the place ...
Learn more
Museum
Abbey of St. Gall
St.Gallen Abbey Library is one of the oldest, most important libraries in the world. Its valuable collection of books illustrates the development of European culture ...
Learn more
Good to know
Abbey of St. Gall
Criterion (ii): The Abbey of Gozbert (816-837) exerted a significant influence on the development of monastic architecture following the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle, ...
Learn more
Our heritage
Abbey of St. Gall
How would you describe your role within the World Heritage Site? Recently, I was introduced at an event as "Madame Abbey". I think that's a good description ...
Learn more
Good to know
Abbey of St. Gall
History Without its convent, the town of St. Gall would not exist. A vulnerable position far away from any major crossroads is not a likely setting to establish ...
Learn more
Museum
Abbey of St. Gall
Virtual tours of the Abbey Library and Abbey Archives The beauty and uniqueness of medieval manuscripts lie in the particular materiality of the writing material ...
Learn more
Educational material
Abbey of St. Gall
A short film by the Swiss Commission for UNESCO
Learn more
Good to know
Abbey of St. Gall
In 1983, the Abbey of St Gall, the Convent of St John at Müstair and the Old Town of Bern were the first cultural heritage sites in Switzerland to be included ...
Learn more