World Heritage Town between Lake and Mountain
Nestling in a verdant Alpine valley between Lake Constance and the Säntis Massif, St. Gallen and its monastery exude the flair of a global metropolis. The town owes its reputation not only to the status of its famous Abbey as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also to its flourishing textile industry. This even led to a New York suburb being named after the small town of 78,000 inhabitants. But of course St. Gallen has far more charm than any great metropolis, and most of the town can be explored in the course of a long weekend.
The Eastern Swiss community of St. Gallen boasts an impressive past. Its name and origin date back to the foundation of a monastery around the year 612 by Gallus, an itinerant monk. From the Middle Ages up to the 19th century, St. Gallen was an important centre of the textile industry. Its past glory becomes apparent during a walk through the old part of town: new fewer than 111 ornately decorated oriel windows bear witness to its urbanity, power and influence.
Its great past has made for a flourishing present: St. Gallen is modern and cosmopolitan. A lively culture scene with numerous museums, a first-class, triple-branch theatre, several cabarets, various festivals and concert series uphold the town's reputation as an Eastern Swiss metropolis.