Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Booklovers Delight - Rare Books in St. Gallen

Being an extreme book lover, I find the crowning site in St. Gallen, Switzerland to be the Abbey Library. The library, tucked in behind the cathedral, is a work of art unto itself. Upon entering you must slip on giant felt slippers over your shoes to protect the inlaid wood floors. The Baroque-style library has a magical quality to it, filled with treasured handwritten and illustrated books dating from as early as 500 AD. Allow plenty of time to feast your eyes on the extraordinary illuminated manuscripts and imagine the monks tonguing their paintbrushes. The Cathedral and Abbey Library are designated as UNESCO world heritage sites. To find this gem, make your way into the old city and follow the signs for the Stiftsbibliothek. 

For divine hot chocolate and other delicacies you can go to the Chocolaterie an Kloserplatz serving local Munz-Maestrani chocolate and other goodies looking out at the cathedral. For health food eats, see the post Health Food Stores in St. Gallen

If you are unable to make the trip to St. Gallen you can now, as of the past year, view 353 of the precious manuscripts on-line at a virtual library - Codices Electronici Sangallenses (Digital Abbey Library of St. Gallen). The virtual library is continuously being updated and expanded. 

Abbey Library of St. Gall Stiftsbibliothek, Klosterhof 6D, St. Gallen; Tel: 071 227 3416;; Open Monday-Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; closed in November. Entry: 10 CHF.
Chocolaterie an Kloserplatz, open Monday from 1:00 to 6:30 pm, Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm, and Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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