Alt St. Johann, St. Johann Kloster. Foto/Photo: TES.

St. Johann and Johanneum

The first document mentioning the monastery of St. Johann (canton of St. Gallen) dates back to 1152 when Pope Eugene III (pope from 1145 to 1153) took the monastery under his protection.

One of the reasons for the foundation was the geographically favourable location between the monasteries of Pfäfers, Einsiedeln and St. Gallen. It was the last of the old Benedictine monasteries in Switzerland. 

The relatively short period of prosperity ended in the 16th century because of the Reformation. The abbey of St. Gallen took over the monastery in 1555.

Two devastating fires occurred in 1568 and 1626. The prince-abbot of St. Gall decided in 1629 to move the monastery to what is now Neu St. Johann. The new monastery (today’s Johanneum) is, together with the church consecrated in 1680, one of the most important buildings of the Swiss early baroque.

(Source: D. Studer, Das ehemalige Kloster St. Johann im Thurtal, Bern, 2002).