The Benedictine abbey in St. Gallen, established in 720, was one of the most important monasteries in Europe, in addition to being a number one center for the arts, letters, and sciences. A priceless library was gathered and monks got here from far to copy manuscripts, lots of which still exist. Only the crypt remains of the Romanesque church and monastery constructed within the ninth century. The current Baroque cathedral and abbey, by architects Peter Thumb and Johann Michael Beer, had been completed in 1766 and have beautiful Rococo decorations.
A few calamitous fires destroyed a lot of the Romanesque Episcopal church erected in 830-37 on the location where the Cathedral of St. Gall now stands. The one part of the construction to have survived the ravages of time is the ninth-tenth century crypt which grew to become an integral part of the Baroque cathedral. The bishops of St. Gall have discovered their final resting place right here – a tradition that has continued to the current day.
Constructed within the second half of the 18th century, the abbey library is richy embellished with ceiling frescoes, intricate stuccowork, woodcarving, and intarsia. The 2-story studying room, containing walnut and cherry bookcases reaching to the ceiling, is particularly spectacular. Round 130,000 leather-based-bound volumes and 2,000 manuscripts are housed right here. These include such bibliophilic treasures as a replica of the Song of the Nibelungen and Codex Abrogans (790), a dictionary of synonyms believed to be one of the oldest existing written documents in German. One of the best-recognized item within the assortment is the St. Gallener Klosterplan, displaying the structure of an ideal Benedictine monastery. Copied from an earlier manuscript by monks within the early ninth century, this document is believed to have been the blueprint for the St. Gallen Monastery.