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Abbey of St. Gall

The cathedral and library of this 8th-century monastery complex are widely considered to be Switzerland’s greatest works of baroque architecture.

The Abbey of St. Gall is the emblematic landmark of the historic city of St. Gallen. Marvel at the beauty of its baroque cathedral, see displays of antique documents in the library and wander as monks did in the Middle Ages. The earliest mention of the Abbey of St. Gall is from the 8th century. It flourished as a monastery until secularizing in 1805. In 1983 the entire complex was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List of protected monuments.

Overlooking the abbey is the magnificent St. Gallen Cathedral. Admire the arched windows, pediments, pilasters and twin towers of the façade. Enter via a doorway on the northern wall and note the sculptures standing in niches. Inside, appreciate the gilded decorations of the main altar and count the many intricately carved figurines.

Go to the Abbey Library of St. Gall, a public lending library that has a collection of about 170,000 books and manuscripts. These range from 7th-century Irish manuscripts to antique German-language Bibles and poetry by revered monks such as Ratpert. Look for an original architect’s drawing of the abbey and a 2,700-year-old Egyptian mummy. Pay attention to the baroque rococo interior, which features burnished wood furniture. Gaze up at the ceiling frescoes by the Swabian painter Joseph Wannenmacher.

Stroll around the abbey gardens and imagine the monastic life that took place here for almost 12 centuries. See the baroque palace of the previous and current bishop of St. Gallen in addition to the governmental offices of St. Gallen canton. Outside the abbey’s north entrance is the gothic-style St. Laurenzen Church, which presents an interesting architectural contrast to the cathedral.

Find the abbey in St. Gallen’s city center. The St. Gallen Art Museum and Textile Museum are among several nearby attractions. Walk around the complex’s surrounding streets to see examples of burgher homes built between the 1500s and 1700s.

The Abbey of St. Gallen is open daily and has an admission fee. Rent an audio guide for commentary of the complex.


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Best Lodging Options Near Abbey of St. Gall

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Einstein St. Gallen - Hotel Congress Spa C$254
Einstein St. Gallen - Hotel Congress Spa

Einstein St. Gallen - Hotel Congress Spa

Berneggstrasse 2, By Navigation: Wassergasse 7, St. Gallen, SG
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of St. Gallen, this luxury hotel is steps from St. Gallen Small Theater, Abbey Library of Saint Gall, and Red Square. Textile Museum and Abbey of St. Gall are also within 5 minutes. St. Gallen Station is 7 minutes by foot and St. Gallen St. Fiden Station is 28 minutes.

    Radisson Blu Hotel, St. Gallen C$207
    Radisson Blu Hotel, St. Gallen

    Radisson Blu Hotel, St. Gallen

    St. Jakob-Strasse 55, St. Gallen, SG
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in St. Gallen, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grand Casino St. Gallen and Beer Bottle Museum. Theater St. Gallen and St. Gallen Trade Fair are also within 10 minutes. St. Gallen St. Fiden Station is 15 minutes by foot and St. Gallen Station is 16 minutes.

      Hotel Vadian Garni C$180
      Hotel Vadian Garni

      Hotel Vadian Garni

      36 Gallusstrasse, St. Gallen
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of St. Gallen, this hotel is steps from Abbey Library of Saint Gall, St. Gallen Small Theater, and Abbey of St. Gall. Red Square and Textile Museum are also within 5 minutes. St. Gallen Station is 7 minutes by foot and St. Gallen St. Fiden Station is 28 minutes.

        Sorell Hotel City Weissenstein C$196
        Sorell Hotel City Weissenstein

        Sorell Hotel City Weissenstein

        Davidstrasse 22-24, St. Gallen, SG
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of St. Gallen, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Red Square, Textile Museum, and Abbey Library of Saint Gall. St. Gallen Small Theater and Abbey of St. Gall are also within 10 minutes. St. Gallen Station is only a 4-minute walk.

          Hotel Elite Garni C$204
          Hotel Elite Garni

          Hotel Elite Garni

          Metzgergasse 9, St. Gallen
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in St. Gallen, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of St. Laurenzen Church, Abbey of St. Gall, and Textile Museum. Theater St. Gallen and Abbey Library of Saint Gall are also within 10 minutes. St. Gallen Station is 7 minutes by foot and St. Gallen St. Fiden Station is 24 minutes.

            TouchBed City Apartments St. Gallen
            TouchBed City Apartments St. Gallen

            TouchBed City Apartments St. Gallen

            10a Mühlensteg, St. Gallen, SG
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of St. Gallen, this apartment building is steps from St. Gallen Small Theater, Abbey Library of Saint Gall, and Abbey of St. Gall. Red Square and Textile Museum are also within 10 minutes. St. Gallen Station is 9 minutes by foot and St. Gallen St. Fiden Station is 27 minutes.

              Hotel Dom C$214
              Hotel Dom

              Hotel Dom

              Webergasse 22, St. Gallen
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of St. Gallen, this hotel is steps from Abbey Library of Saint Gall, St. Gallen Small Theater, and Textile Museum. Abbey of St. Gall and St. Laurenzen Church are also within 5 minutes. St. Gallen Station is 7 minutes by foot and St. Gallen St. Fiden Station is 28 minutes.

                Hotel am Spisertor C$192
                Hotel am Spisertor

                Hotel am Spisertor

                Moosbruggstrasse 1, St. Gallen
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of St. Gallen, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Abbey of St. Gall, St. Laurenzen Church, and St. Gallen Small Theater. Abbey Library of Saint Gall and Theater St. Gallen are also within 10 minutes. St. Gallen Station is 11 minutes by foot and St. Gallen St. Fiden Station is 23 minutes.