Switzerland, Abbey of St. Gallen

Switzerland, Abbey of St. Gallen

The Abbey of St. Gallen has a long and fascinating history. In the Middle Ages, the city as such was not yet there – there was the abbey of St. Gall. Later around the monastery began to appear residential quarters, and a city was formed, called St. Gallen. The monastery was one of the largest Benedictine monasteries in Europe. In 1983, he was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a commentary on “a perfect example of a large Carolingian monastery”.

The abbey is celebrated in honor of its founder – St. Gall, a disciple of St. Columban. The monastery was founded in 613. At the time when Otmar was the abbot, an art school appeared in the monastery. Manuscripts made by the St. Gallen monks (most of whom came from Britain and Ireland) were highly valued throughout Europe.

During the reign of the abbot Waldo from Reichenau, a library was founded, which is still considered one of the richest in Europe. It contains numerous (about 160 thousand) medieval manuscripts.

Since the 10th century, political rivalry has been taking place between the monastery of St. Gall and Reichenau. By the thirteenth century, disputes had been resolved in favor of St. Gallen, and his abbots were recognized as independent sovereigns of the Holy Roman Empire. Later, the cultural and political significance of the monastery gradually decreased, and in 1712 the Swiss army entered the abbey, forcibly taking with it a large part of the monastic treasures. In the years 1755-1768. The buildings of the abbey were destroyed and new baroque buildings and temples were built in their place.

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