Lured to Lucerne by the wealthy Ludwig Pfyffer von Altishofen, the Jesuits brought the Counter Reformation to Lucerne in the 17th century; the elaborate Jesuitenkirche, dedicated to Francis Xavier, was constructed in 1666. Architects from Italy and Austria built what many believe to be the most beautiful Baroque church in Switzerland.
St. Gall's Abbey Library is one of the oldest and most beautiful in the world. The origins of the library date back to the 8th century, and many of its 160,000 priceless texts are nearly that old.
Just outside the abbey grounds lies St. Gall's Old City, which grew up around the abbey over the centuries and is marked by the flourishing textil industry as one can see looking at the loveley decorated houses with their oriels.
Within the abbey complex just north of the Abbey Cathedral is Monastery Square, a large, open, grassy area.