St. Gallen – I

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.

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27 thoughts on “St. Gallen – I

  1. Excellent one Cuckoo.. I liked the pics and commentary too. “….. it became a memorable one.. not for anything else but for my stupidity. “ — I am expecting something funny in your next one 🙂

  2. Pijush,
    Aha ! You just won the early bird prize here !

    Ha Ha… It wasn’t that funny but it taught me a lesson. 🙂

  3. Hey, that’s not fair. Here we come here expecting some juicy account of your stupidity, and then there is nothing stupid in the post 🙁

  4. Now that’s better. We are always looking for somebody being stupid 😉

    Anyways the photos are very good. Digicam or regular?

  5. Fleiger,
    Ok Ok.

    Thank you. Pic no. 3 is digicam, others are from still camera but still photos are best seen as hardcopies and nothing can beat them.

    Btw, I can see you’ve again changed your clothes. 😉

  6. True, films give a much better resolution.

    Changed clothes? I do that every time I go out and every day after I take a bath, and… (well, you get the idea)

  7. Great pictures of a beautiful cathedral. Come on, now that we got to Bodensee, we look forward to reading what happened…

  8. Fleiger,
    Yes, now I have a fair idea. 😉

    Niki,
    The story says that the bear helped the monk in building the hermitage and St. Gallen’s flag also has bear in it.

    Kalyan,
    Thank you.

    Peter,
    Ha Ha.. Whatever I do, I do it seriously including kidding 😉 but this one was something different.

    Gil,
    Thank you. Come on now, you too are waiting to know..

  9. really nice photos… you did a wonderful job again cuckoo! congrats and good luck to your trips. 🙂

  10. Hey I read somewhere in one of your blogs that you went to Swizerland because you dont like Mumbai in Rainy season. But this post telles that you went for project work 🙂

  11. Hmmm..you on travel tales…as expected good story…though end was bit anti cliamx…where was that FAMED stupidity bit…lol…

  12. What language do people speak in Swizerland?

    Good that you got to go on a trip that early after landing in a new place…The first few days of enthusiasm of being in new place is the best isnt it? same was true with me too.

  13. Pijush,
    I went to Switzerland on a short 3 months trip which was extended twice to make it one year. it was for a project. As I didn’t like Mumbai rains, I wanted to run away as soon as possible.

    Now is it clear ? 🙂

  14. BTR,
    though end was bit anti cliamx… Well, sometimes travels should also have it. Right ?

    Fleiger,
    Hang on, it is coming from St. Gallen. Too much of traffic on the way. 😛

    Ajeya,
    French, German & Italian are the three main languages of Swiss. You can read it here.

    The first few days of enthusiasm of being in new place is the best… Yes, very true. As it is, Switzerland is like heaven & it being my 1st country gave that extra excitement.
    Also, since at that time my tenure was for only 3 months, I was eager to utilize every possibility of seeing it.

  15. Hey, nice pics, liked the cathedral – doesn’t such a huge man-made beauty make one admire the mankind? Waiting for Lake Constance post – I really like water pictures…and nothing like calm lakes in this mad busy world!

  16. awesome Pics girl..tell me 2 things -wht do u do& how u do that..ha ha..well thats really nice pics ,even i have sme but of MP , Gujrat,HP and Orissa..will share it soon..good day.

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