Abbey Library of Saint Gall, St. Gallen

(4.7/5 based on 550+ reviews on the web)
View the oldest library collection in the country at Abbey Library of Saint Gall. Founded by St. Othmar on the site where St. Gall had established his hermitage, the library holds 2,100 manuscripts dating from the 8th through 15th centuries as well as almost 160,000 published volumes. The library books are available for public use, except for those printed before 1900, which must be read in the reading room. Admire the Rococo-style architecture of the renowned library hall, designed by Peter Thumb. Exhibitions here explain the history of writing and the development of paper and books. Use one of the audio guides in English or take an English-language guided tour, available at specific times. You must wear oversized slippers provided by the library upon entry. To visit Abbey Library of Saint Gall on your holiday in St. Gallen, and find out what else St. Gallen has to offer, use our St. Gallen travel itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Once one of the knowledge centres of the world in the middle ages. An impressive library. It takes but a guide that explains one of the things. There are electronic data systems, but to a few languages. Together with the Church and the old town worth a visit.
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  • Unfortunately we could not make it temporary, that we could take part in a public guided tour. It was quite cold in the room (February), which has also reduced the residence comfort reasons. Very difficult, we have felt the lighting. The few signs are barely readable, because it is too dark in the room. The spot lights are too far away and have the effect of a candle. Barely readable without flashlight. The room with the library less than we have imagined that. But really technically really excellently made. You can see understandably mostly the spine of the books, because they are all lined up on the shelves behind bars. Without guided tour, a visit by the Abbey library is only conditionally recommended. In the same building, the exhibition is Lapidarium where the story is succinctly described Gallen from the monastery and the surrounding area of St. down in the cellars. Very vividly depicted with models. Read walls are less than optimal, partly the texts are needed about 1.8 metres above sea level and partly on 20 cm above the ground. You should allow at least 1.5 hours for the lapidary. But it's worth.
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  • Beautiful place. Small but very nice. The cellar is maybe not so impressive but the bib. I always have to complain about ridicolous photo restrictions. If you pay 160CHF you can - if not you can't. 
Google
  • One of the most beautiful places I have visited! The library looks like a Harry Potter movie! Magical is the word or Breathtaking!!! Absolutely not to be missed!!!
  • The Abbey Library of St. Gallen is the oldest still accessible library in the world. Its history dates back to the year 612, as was laid by a monk of the first foundation of the Benedictine monastery of St. Gallen. Gradually a flourishing abbey originated. The Abbey Library, which is also entered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site, now serves both as a museum, on the other hand it is still active lending library. It has approximately 170,000 books and other media. However, users have to be resident in Switzerland.
  • Sehr schön!
  • Amazing place, wonderful exhibition
  • Fascinating, the Stiftsbibliothek. Comparable with libraries from Oxford or Dublin.