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. Cultural Heritage since 1983.

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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 ...
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School excursions
Abbey of St. Gall
An abbey like St.Gallen was not only an important spiritual and cultural centre, but also an equally important economic centre. The monastery employed many lay people, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Educational material
Abbey of St. Gall
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Museum
Abbey of St. Gall
The Abbey Plan of St Gall Drawn in the Reichenau Monastery around 825, the Abbey Plan of St Gall is the oldest and most important architectural drawing of the ...
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Educational material
Abbey of St. Gall
A short film by the Swiss Commission for UNESCO
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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 ...
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