Highlights in St. Gallen
History of St. GallenThe city of St.Gallen was founded by the Irish monk Gallus in 612. In search of a suitable place for his hermit's cell, he stumbled and fell into a bush of thorns somewhere in a wild, narrow high-lying valley of what is now St.Gallen. He took that and his close encounter with a bear to be signs sent to him by God and decided to stay. One hundred years later, the very place where Gallus set up his hermitage became the site of an abbey which was to become the "writing room of Europe" in the Middle Ages and one of the most important cultural centres of the Occident. The town that gradually grew up around that abbey is St.Gallen.
St.Gallen's history, the splendour of its abbey and the monuments that testify to civic pride and a prosperous economy in the Middle Ages, are evident at every turn in St.Gallen. The abbey district with its magnificent baroque cathedral forms a unique historical ensemble, which was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1983. Visitors to the abbey's rococo library can admire 170,000 medieval books and 2000 original manuscripts in changing temporary exhibitions.
Textiles in St. GallenThe production of textiles played a significant role in St.Gallen as early as the Middle Ages. For centuries, cloth from St.Gallen was a lucrative export article, appreciated throughout Europe for its quality. During the industrial revolution in the 19th century, it was embroidery and fine lace that accounted for St.Gallen's fame. The textile museum provides a fascinating account of the town's "textile" history.
St. Gallen and vicinityThe city’s central location in the Lake Constance region makes it an ideal base for a host of excursions to Lake Constance or to the mountains of the Appenzellerland for example to the mount Säntis (2,501 m/8,205 f) the most famous mountain in Eastern Switzerland.
The rural St.Gallen area is as well a marvellous hiking and biking region, with lake and mountain panoramas always in view.
In 2012 St.Gallen will celebrate its 1400 year anniversary with various events.