Football town with tradition. Chairman of FC St. Gallen Matthias Hüppi shows us his favourite places in the town he was born in.

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Intro

Home to a UNESCO World Heritage site, St. Gallen is a cradle of knowledge, culture – and football. No one knows that better than Matthias Hüppi, chairman of the oldest football club in continental Europe. His favourite places in the city bridge the gap between tradition and modernity.

St. Gallen.

The compact Eastern Switzerland town boasts a charming, pedestrianised old town. The Convent of St. Gall with its cathedral and library is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Overview
St. Gallen
Eastern Switzerland
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From TV presenter to football chairman.

Matthias Hüppi is a well-known figure throughout Switzerland. The St. Gallen native is a renowned former TV presenter and sports editor. He worked for SRF Swiss Television for nearly forty years and presented numerous sports programmes and major sporting events, including the Football World Cup.

We want to make our fans happy by delivering great football and exciting matches. This is typical of us Eastern Swiss.
Matthias Hüppi

FC St. Gallen. Football club with a 140-year history.

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A football club for the entire region.

Since the beginning of 2018, Matthias Hüppi has been chairman of FC St. Gallen, a club that can look back on a tremendous history. Founded in 1879, it is considered to be the oldest football club in continental Europe, while being the most prominent football club in Eastern Switzerland and deeply rooted in the town and region. For Hüppi, self-confidence and pride, together with a lot of modesty, are typical features of his club and of the entire region.

From football club to the stage.

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At first glance, football and theatre don’t have a lot in common.

This is a little different in St. Gallen, because Theater St. Gallen has just as long a history as the football club. It is the oldest professional theatre in Switzerland still performing today, dating back to 1801, and the only multi-branch theatre in the Eastern Switzerland/Lake Constance Region – not to mention a place that features in Matthias Hüppi’s biography.

Theatre, drama, ballet, opera and musicals.

Matthias Hüppi became acquainted with Theater St. Gallen as a child, as his parents were keen theatre-goers and took him with them to performances every now and again. His love for the theatre has grown even more over the years. “I find the theatre fascinating. What makes Theater St. Gallen extraordinary is that it brings the entire spectrum of theatre onto the stage.“

I find the world of theatre fascinating – not just the actual performance on stage, but also what happens in the background until everything is as it should be. A bit like football.
Matthias Hüppi

Cradle of knowledge. Abbey Library of St. Gall: part of the Abbey of St. Gall, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983.

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The town’s hallmark.

But there’s one institution compared to which football and theatre pale in significance – the Abbey of St. Gall with its Baroque cathedral. Along with its library and archives, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1983. Every St. Gallen native, Hüppi included, associates this hallmark of the town of St. Gallen with a lot of memories.

Slippers in the Baroque hall.

The collection held by the Abbey Library comprises some 170,000 books, 50,000 of which are exhibited in its magnificent Baroque hall, which every St. Gallen native – including Matthias Hüppi – has been familiar with all their lives. And it goes without saying that their earliest childhood memories are linked with the legendary felt slippers you have to wear upon entering the Abbey Library. A bit like in a football stadium: “Everybody’s pretty much the same in the Abbey Library when they are wearing slippers.“

Everybody wears slippers, and it’s so quiet you could hear a pin drop – so that people are able to gaze at the works in peace and at their leisure.
Matthias Hüppi