St. Gall: From a humble hermitage to a magnificent abbey

St. Gall

A magical place: The abbey church of St. Gallen

A magical place: The abbey church of St. Gallen

From a humble hermitage to a magnificent abbey

When Gallus, the itinerate Irish monk, became ill on his journey to Italy, he was forced to stay behind and founded a hermitage in the wilderness south of Lake Constance in the year 612. After just 300 years, St. Gall had grown into a major town and its Benedictine abbey was renowned throughout Europe. The abbey's magnificent Baroque architecture dates back to the 17th century when the abbey church was constructed. The abbey's library is unique throughout the world. It contains over 2,000 manuscripts, including the Psalterium Aureum from the year 860 – a Carolingian masterpiece written in gold ink. It was this library that inspired Umberto Eco to write his murder mystery, β€œThe Name of the Rose.”

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