Convent of St. Gall (1983)
Switzerland

Back to index

The Convent of St Gall, 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. From 1755 to 1768, the conventual area was rebuilt in Baroque style. The cathedral and the library are the main features of this remarkable architectural complex, reflecting 12 centuries of continuous activity. 

Switzerland 2003. World Cultural Heritage. St. Gall Convent. Switzerland 1999. Allegorical view of St. Gall.

The Irish monk Gallus built his cell in 612 on the spot where the baroque Abbey of St Gall now stands.  Around 719, the Alemannic priest Otmar founded a Benedictine monastery, which developed into a major spiritual center of Western civilization.  Eloquent testimony to this period is to be found in the 800 documents kept in the Abbey's archives.  Two thousand of the most beautiful manuscripts are stored in the manuscript room -- over 400 of them more than 1.000 years old.  The most valuable of all are the Irish-Celtic manuscripts and the Latin-German dictionary.  The Abbey Library contains a total of 150,000 volumes.  

Source: Focus on Stamps, Swiss Post Philatelic Magazine, No. 3/2003.

Other World Heritage Sites in Switzerland (on this website). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Switzerland-section, for more information about the individual properties, 

Back to index


Revised 21 jul 2006  
Copyright © 1999 Heindorffhus 
All Rights Reserved