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.