(Europe Records Institute - EURI) Top Europe's Architectural Masterpieces (P.07) - The Abbey library of Saint Gall (Switzerland): Treasure of knowledge in Europe"

01-02-2024

(WorldKings.org) The Abbey Library of Saint Gall in Switzerland stands out as a masterpiece that not only reflects the architectural brilliance of its time but also holds a treasure trove of knowledge within its walls.

The Abbey Library of Saint Gall, located in the town of St. Gallen, Switzerland, traces its origins back to the 8th century. It was established by Saint Othmar, and its early manuscripts and books were preserved by diligent monks. The library gained prominence during the Carolingian era, under the rule of Charlemagne, when it became a center of learning and culture. Over the centuries, it evolved into a repository of knowledge, surviving wars and upheavals.

The architectural design of the Abbey Library is a testament to the craftsmanship of its time. The library complex includes the Abbey Church of St. Gall, the Abbey precinct, and the library itself. The library's main hall, built in the Rococo style, is a marvel of ornate decoration and artistic detail. Intricate stucco work, frescoes, and wooden carvings adorn the walls and ceilings, creating an atmosphere of refined elegance. The library's Baroque-style architecture adds to the overall grandeur, making it a visual delight for visitors.

Entrance
The framing of the entrance door is dated around 1781 and attributed to the sculptor Franz Anton Dirr. Above the entrance door to the library, you can see cherubs holding a sign in Greek that says «psyché iatreio» which translates to «Sanctuary of the soul» or «soul pharmacy». Just to be there, standing in front of something written more than a thousand years ago is humbling. The smell, the lighting, the woody floor, shelves, railings – it is a place to heal your soul.

Terrestrial and Celestial Globe
The monastery was already a stronghold of cosmography around the year 1000. The unique earth and celestial globe dating back to the second half of the sixteenth century (but this one is only a copy). Around 7000 hours of work have gone into making this replica of the globe that was stolen from St.Gallen more than 400 years ago. It is 121 centimeters in diameter and more than 2.33 meters high. The globe shows both: the earth and the stars in the night sky. The big globe is still incomplete since some countries are not yet discovered.

Cherubs, Putti
In small niches over the poles of the window buoys are twenty putti from 31 to 34 centimeters high. They embody twenty professions: Poet, Doctor, Botanist, Carpenter, Pharmacist, Bell Giant, Gun Caster, Goldsmith, Flutist, Singer, Painter, Gardener, Composer, Businessman, Sculptor, Geographer, Architect, Astronomer, Mathematician and Organ Builder.

Stucco, Ceiling, Paintings
Admire the curving balconies and look up to examine exquisite frescoes, which portray the earliest church councils. The gilded chamber is adorned with celestial murals and stuccoed cherubs. The stucco is a work of the brothers Johann Georg and Matthias Gigl and was created by them in 1761. Most of it is rich, only two roosters are visible and are interpreted as a «company name» («Güggel» means in old german cock). The ceiling painting was created 1762 by painter Josef Wannenmacher. The paintings over the doors on each side show each the two builders C. Gugger von Staudach and Beda Angehrn. A copy of a painting depicts the body of Jesus in the tomb. As a counterpart, a picture of Cäcilia hangs above the northern gallery door. Cäcilia was an early Christian martyr who found death by the sword.

The true treasure of the Abbey Library lies within its shelves. The library houses a vast collection of over 160,000 documents, including medieval manuscripts, incunabula, and printed books. Some of the manuscripts date back to the 8th century, providing a rare glimpse into the intellectual pursuits of the medieval period. The library also possesses a renowned collection of ancient maps, making it a significant resource for historians, researchers, and bibliophiles.

According to the Internet 

 

 

Esther (Collect & Edit) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)

 

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