Stiftsbezirk und Klosterkirche St. Gallen. Foto/Photo: TES.

Monastery and City of St. Gall

The monastery of St. Gall was founded in 719. Its history began with the legend of the Irish monk St. Gallus (c. 550-640), who died at this site. Traders, farmers and craftsmen settled in the neighbourhood after 720, the beginning of the town of St. Gall.

The ‘Gallus’ Stream Steinach in St. Georgen. According to the legend, Gallus walked around 612 from Arbon to St. Goergen and followed the stream. He stumbled and settled on that location, the place of the later St. Gallus Chapel in St. Gall. 

The monastery, the library and the archives were added to the UNESCO list in 1983. The decisive factor was the combination of the baroque monastery complex from the 18th century with a tradition going back to the 8th century.

The City

The latter manifests itself hardly in the architecture but in the abbey archives and library. The library is one of the oldest and richest in the world. The monastery was abolished in 1805.

(Source: E. Tremp, J. Huber, K. Schmuki, Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen, St. Gallen, 2007;

Impressions from the abbey, the archive and the library


The Gallus relic

The Gallus bell

The entrance of the library and the Greek words (freely translated) “balsam for the soul”.

The Notker Globus (2022), construction based on the above text from 1015. The globe is round and not flat, centuries before Gallilei!

The Zeichen des Himmels, around 450, is the oldest manuscript in the library.

The St. Galler Globus, 1576. Replica. The original is kept in the Landesmuseum Zurich

De St. Galler Globus, 1576. Landesmuseum Zurich