St Gall and its convent, Switzerland

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Because of the prices, I decided to stop in a Coop supermarket to buy something for lunch and then head to St Gall ( Sankt Gallen), located at the South-Eastern side of Bodensee, to visit the convent of St Gall, included in the list of Unesco sites, still travelling off the beaten tracks.

The reason why the convent of St Gall was included in the World Heritage List is the following one: "a perfect example of a great Carolingian monastery, was, from the 8th century to its secularization in 1805, one of the most important in Europe. Its library is one of the richest and oldest in the world and contains precious manuscripts such as the earliest-known architectural plan drawn on parchment.".

Arrived in the main square of St Gall, the first thing I noticed were Swiss houses, similar to the English ones, but decorated with different colours and with typical roofs of the Central Europe.
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The convent of St Gall once it was a closed area, but then for reasons of town planning some buildings were demolished; but it
keeps well conserved such as almost all the documents or history building in Switzerland.
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At the centre of the complex there's the cathedral
, a white building with two towers:
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If the facade of the cathedral was nice its interior was absolutely stunning, especially the frescos with Baroque decorations:
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When I raised my head, I felt absolutely breathless:
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and I got the same feeling in front of the choir and the altar.
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When i left the cathedral I decided to go towards the old library, without having a clue of what I was going to see. In the meantine, in another courtyard I found another pearl, that is the chapel of St Gall, opened as the complex was celebrating its 1.500th birthday. This chapel was plenty of paintigs that tell life episodes of the St Gall, that in the year 612 founded a little hermitage, base of the later construction of the complex.
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As in the little chapel pictures were not allowed even in the stunning library, but it's better like this: making pictures there would mean to waist this big wooden hall that shows ancient handscripts of monks and an old globe. The ceiling shows many frescos and unfortunately I do not have pics to show...but I will invite you to see the pic by clicking here.
No pic however can reproduce what you can say there: to remind this wonder i bought a HD picture at 3,40 francs.

The ticket costs 9 CHF: it is really worth and you can access to the cloister, to the library and the lapidarium ( but i would not recommend it).
Another building which is part of the convent of St. Gall is the church of San Lawrence with a decorated roof:
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Left the building, I had a trip around the city centre and I have to say that
St Gall is really precious with its little squares and decorated houses:
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and the pedestrian area where to shop.
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In the end the visit to the convent and the city does not last more than 3 hours.

My advice is to get there between 10 and 17 in order to not miss the library and the cathedral..
The convent of St Gall deserves a place into the list of Unesco sites and is recommended to everyone: for sure one of the off the beaten path places to visit and ideal to visit the off the beaten path Switzerland

The next stop of my journey was going to be Reichenau in Germany.

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