The Abbey of St. Gall

3d model and reconstruction

The Abbey of St. Gall

Virtual reconstruction of the Abbey of St. Gall with the complex of buildings around it. The model has been reconstructed on a very ancient plan on parchment of the Carolingian age and looking at similar structures of a slightly later date which were based on the architecture of St. Gall as ideal typology.

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Short history of

The Abbey of St. Gall

In 612 AD, the Irish monk Gall built his monastic cell in a region of the north-eastern Switzerland, which now took from him the name of the canton of St. Gallen. Already hundred years later a Benedictine abbey developed there: after extensions and modifications during the centuries, it became the center of city life and one of the most important monasteries in Europe.

Important testimony of Carolingian architecture, the abbey has now lost its original appearance. An ancient plant processed just before 830, perhaps by the abbot Haito de Reichenau, show that the abbey of St. Gall has been the model of the great Benedictine Cluny and Cistercian abbeys. It shows a complex with the character of self-sufficiency and functionality. With a rational arrangement, according to an orthogonal pattern, there are the church, the cloisters, the abbot and monks houses, and yet the guesthouse, the schools, the refectory, the hospital, divided into departments, and specialized buildings. And also, the house of the doctor, the artisan village with residences of coopers, shoemakers, saddlers, dyers, washers, tanners, blacksmiths, knife makers, goldsmiths; agricultural equipment and service with the granaries, breweries, stables, pigsties, sheepfolds, chicken coops, and the homes of several employees. There also are three gardens: one called “of simple man”, where medicinal plants were grown; the vegetable garden, for cultivation of the plants necessary to the daily needs; the cemetery, with fruit trees.