Convent of St. Gall
Silvio Frigg, Division Manager at St. Gall’s Abbey Library, tells his story:
How did you get to the Convent of St. Gall?
Shuffling through the Baroque room in felt slippers and marvelling at the mummy “Schepenese”. Everyone who grew up around St. Gall remembers this moment, including myself. As a native of St. Gall, I visited the Abbey Library several times during my school years. The teachers tried to get us interested in these unique written records. However, my love of books came years later when I studied German and History of Art at university. For more than 17 years, I’ve worked in St. Gall’s Abbey Library. As Division Manager, Central Services, I’m responsible for, among other things, the preservation and safety of printed books and manuscripts. It’s a fascinating job which frequently brings me into close contact with external experts.
What's your favorite place? Can you tell us some secrets?
Stand in the portico around the rotunda, directly next to the large dome in the cathedral. Let your eyes wander over the reliefs created by Johann Christian Wentzinger about the life of Saint Gall. Wentzinger’s creative courage in terms of dealing with large empty spaces and figures is unparalleled. Here, the ornamentation and architecture highlight the unique quality of the Baroque masters who worked in St. Gall.
What activities do you recommend on this site?
The best time to visit St.Gall’s Abbey District is during the winter months, when the lingering fog over the city of St. Gall adds a mysterious atmosphere to the UNESCO World Heritage site. The tranquility during this time is reminiscent of the early abbey, which was dissolved in 1805. The audio guide allows visitors to explore the premises, the cathedral and the abbey library on their own. Pause for a quiet moment and let this majestic World Heritage site work its magic.
October 2016 (translated from German)