St Gallen was the first place that I visited outside Geneva. I was fortunate enough to visit this place within a month of my landing in Switzerland and it became a memorable one.. not for anything else but for my stupidity. 🙂
It so happened that three Indians (including two from my company working on different projects) were going for a one day tour to explore some places of Switzerland. I immediately expressed my wish to join them.
So, on a Sunday early morning, four of us took a train to Zurich. Zurich is a German speaking city in north of CH. From now on I’ll refer to Switzerland as CH.
After spending sometime in Zurich city, pictures of which will come later, we proceeded for St Gallen – a town further north-east. Please refer to the map. It is in right upper corner of CH, very near to German border.
St Gallen is a small city and a canton, an hour’s train journey from Zurich. Again there is a story behind its name.
There was a careless monk by the name of St. Gallus who was forging his way through the valley of the river Steinach. He fell into a briar patch, considered it a sign from God, and built a hermitage there with the help of a bear. The place became St. Gallen and the bear is still found in the city’s standard. Later on a Benedictine abbey was founded. With the addition of a library, it became a center of learning.
Over the period of time, St. Gallen developed into a thriving cultural center, grew into a major producer of linen and embroidered cotton fabric and today is Switzerland’s seventh largest city. The signboards are in German as in Zurich.
To its north is the Lake Constance which also runs through some parts of Germany and had a hand in my silliness. 🙂
St Gallen is famous for Lake Constance, Abbey Library and the Cathedral. Also for Ornate Oriel Windows and the embroidery.
First we saw the beautiful Cathedral. No words can describe the beauty of this Cathedral. Please note the difference between scanned photo and the one taken from digicam.
After the cathedral we roamed around for sometime and came across shops for quality embroidered goods at a handful of Broderie shops, some of them have retail outlets as well. Not bought anything, just window shopped. Reason is known to all of us. 🙂
We also saw the famous Oriel windows of St. Gallen. An Oriel window projects from the side of a building but doesn’t touch the ground and are supported by the wooden “L” shaped supporting brackets called ‘the corbels’. However, St. Gallen corbels have evolved into a whole other art form with carved and painted facades. A bay window of US when it projects from an upper story and is supported by corbels, is the closest cousin to it.
Then we went to the famous lake Constance. Wanted to have a small ferry ride before calling it a day. Read the next part what happened there.