Stiftsbibliothek, St. Gallen

#1 of 125 in Things to do in Canton of St. Gallen
Must see · Architectural Building · Library
View the oldest library collection in the country at Stiftsbibliothek. 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. Plan to see Stiftsbibliothek and other attractions that appeal to you using our St. Gallen trip planner.
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  • The wooden decorations, the smell of old books, the sound of the wooden floor cracking under our feet... Feels like going back to another time. I really loved this visit.  more »
  • The people working in the library do not speak English. We tried to talk to them in English but they replied back in German without making any sense out of the situation. It is such a contrast to...  more »
  • Absolutely gorgeous library. Worth a visit!
  • Busier in terms of traffic and petrol fumes than I anticipated. Glad of a map to guide me from the railway station to the Abbey. The key attraction is the library but it is a very dark interior and hard to see the displays. The exhibitions in the Painted Vault and in the archive wing were excellent. Imaginatively put together and informative. A life size and very realistic waxwork of St Gall. But didn't Irish tradition monks tattoo their eyelids? The St Lorenz Church next door, Lutheran, was a relief after the overcooked baroque of the Abbey Church.
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