This Swiss Library Keeps Your Camera Under Lock and Key (But It's Worth It)
Tomorrow, we'll start to spill the beans on a few day trip ideas when making your home base in Zurich, one of which being the town of St. Gallen. Everyone knows part of Europe's appeal lies in its long history as compared to that of the U.S., and it is in St. Gallen that you can get a glimpse of a medieval monastery library, one that's in very damn good condition with over 150,000 books (30,000 on display).
The library in the Cathedral Abbey of Saint Gall was built in 710 and now contains about 400 books that are 1,000 years old. Regardless of what's inside of them (none are in English but all are historical texts of different varieties), it's pretty amazing they've survived that many generations. Another ridiculous artifact it houses is the earliest known architectural drawn on parchment, fittingly of the Abbey itself. The Library was remodeled in the 18th century and became a Unesco World Heritage site in 1983.
This is definitely a pop in for 15 minutes sort of thing for simple appreciation's sake, or if you take a tour, a longer stay to understand the history would be appropriate. You aren't allowed to take photos - they make you lock up your phone and camera and search you before you enter - so we have no choice but to pass on some stock ones sent to us by the Library itself. They are a little over dramatic, but we do think they still accurately portray what it looks like and what you'd experience on a visit.