Dear Co-travellers, now we shared already quite some impressions from different corners in Switzerland, but not from our new hometown St. Gallen yet.
High time to change this!
We live since summer 2016 in this beautiful city, which is located very close to the Lake Constance at the Three-country-point “Germany – Austria – Switzerland”.
We moved here from Berlin, where we lived for 4 years. But this was exactly the change that we wanted.
But what exactly has St. Gallen to offer, to even top Berlin?
The answer is: A lot!
But lets start with tips for your next St. Gallen vacation…
The history of St. Gallen
St. Gallen belongs to these cities with a very long history.
The Irish Monk Gallus was building around 1,400 years ago his Eremitage here, which is officially the origin of St. Gallen.
Around 100 years later the monastery was built, which helped St. Gallen to become one of the important and influential cultural hot spots of the occident.
In the year 1180 A.D. St. Gallen became Imperial town.
Another severe and tragical incidence was the Thirty Years War. According to this also the Pestilence in the years 1629 and 1635, where 1/5 of the town population fell a victim.
Only short time later as part of the Treaty of Westphalia St. Gallen became independent from German Reich.
During the Reformation period St. Gallen reached economical relevance by the establishing of the textile industry. This economic sector has even worldwide importance. The wedding dress of Georges Clooneys Bride Amal Alamuddin was invented by the St. Gallen textile company Forster Rohner. Madonna, the Princess of Monaco, Michelle Obama – many superstars are clothing with textiles made in the city in East Switzerland. And even star designers like Chanel, Dior, Armani and others are using embroideries made in St. Gallen.
Next to textiles, St. Gallen has also a lot of history to offer.
The cathedral chapter with its baroque cathedral for example is part of the UNESCO world heritage since 1983.
This brings us immediately to the first tourist attraction of St. Gallen…
Sightseeing in Sankt Gallen
The abbey library
Attraction for countless tourists every year is without doubt the abbey library.
The former typing room for the Benedictine monks accommodates in a beautiful rococo hall around 170,000 printed books.
2,000 of them are medieval original handwritings. An additional highlight is the mummy of Schepense, which can be found there.
The textile museum
Located in the heart of the city you will find this museum with impressions from the past, as well as from the present processes in the textile industry.
And even exhibits from medieval times you can marvel here.
At the moment there are two special exhibitions:
“Fast Fashion, the downsides of Fashion”gives insights into the globalized textile trading and its negative impacts. The second one is about the long and multifaceted history of textile industry in East Switzerland since the 16th century.
This monumental convent, which was built between 1755 and 1767 A.D., is truly an eye opener.
Just the organ with all its stalls is one big amazement and in interaction with the light ambience it creates a very light, friendly and peaceful atmosphere. So completely different than the typical intimidating sacral buildings. Must see!
Art museum St. Gallen
This museum, which is already inviting just because of its beautiful architecture is offering many exhibits like paintings and sculptures from late medieval times till present. An entrance fee of 21 Swiss Francs (nearly $21) is totally fine related to what you will see here.
Red Square St. Gallen
Maybe a bit smaller than the original in Moscow, but therefor very elaborate and for sure literally red. This red square you find in the very city centre of St. Gallen.
The idea comes from the artist Pipilotti Rist and it shows a public living room.
In this artful landscape in the Bleichi-district everything is coated with red granule gum.
Chairs, tables, even a Porsche. Huge luminaries, as you can see on the photo, are illuminating the night sky over St. Gallen and the Red square.
Many other museums and facilities like the Historical and Ethnological museum, the Nature museum the art hall, as well as Theaters and Music halls are making St. Gallen THE cultural highlight in East Switzerland.
Without exaggeration – St. Gallen offers something for everyone. And for those, that are not satisfied wit art, culture and music St. Gallen offers a unique and beautiful Swiss nature right on the doorstep.
Nature & outdoor in Sankt Gallen
To be honest, it is not hard at all. St. Gallen, embedded in a valley between two hills is surrounded everywhere by nature.
So it is not really surprising to see many runners, bikers and other fitness freaks.
But next to do sport just on your own, St. Gallen also has a lot to offer here.
Rope course Gründenmoos
On 7 courses you can swing here around between the treetops.
Suspension bridges and ropes are making this place to a small adventure of its very own kind.
Yes, even for Skaters St. Gallen has something to offer.
Even for skilled ones this route is a small challenge. The track goes for around 10 miles from Rorschach at Lake Constance to the abbey district in St. Gallen.
Apropos Lake Constance… directly in the neighborhood of St. Gallen at this lake you will find nearly all kind of water sports.
But also the hill and mountain area around St. Gallen offers everything for perfect running experiences as you can see on the photos.
St. Gallen might not have the picturesque mountains like South Switzerland, but can redeem easily with all those mentioned highlights.
Culture, shopping, art and nature are playing here such a great ensemble, which is hard to find anywhere else. A perfect infrastructure, direct connections per train and highway into all directions make St. Gallen easily accessible.
A very high life standard, the keeping of ancient traditions combined with cosmopolitan attitudes and all the touristic aspects are making St. Gallen a true highlight for almost everyone.
Many special events during the whole year are giving additional reasons for a visit.
All detailed information you find here: st.gallen-bodensee.ch
We will report about the one or another event in St. Gallen here more in detail, that’s for sure.
Stay tuned 🙂
Ade says Hendrik!
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Thank you sincerely, Birdie & Hendrik.