Amden and Weesen - the perfect combination of alpine idyll and southern ambience. The elements water, air and earth unite into a harmonious nature paradise and invite you to enjoy unforgettable summer holidays.
Heidi would be thrilled if she could see her homeland now, in all its magical, natural summer beauty. Stretching beneath the mighty chain of the Churfirsten are Lake Walen and other smaller, sparkling mountain lakes.
In the thermal baths in Bad Ragaz, walkers soothe their legs; at Kerenzerberg, families enjoy toboggan and scooter rides; and up on high, mountain bikers tackle scenic trails. Here in the Heidiland holiday region, you will find Johanna Spyri's heroine celebrated everywhere: along Heidi's Trail on the Pizol, at the Heidi musical on the lake stage in Walenstadt, even on goat treks (think of Peter the Goatherd, her friend). But to come closest to her story, follow the Heidi Trail near Maienfeld, where you will encounter another local treasure: the vineyards of the Bündner Herrschaft.
yMarktplatz has been the main square of the market of the city during the Middle Ages.
It is located on the northern side of the old town and it is surrounded from beautiful houses built in the 17th and 18th century. Some of them are elegantly painted, others are in wood and masonry and decorated with sculptures in relief. Many of them have got nice bow windows.
Stiftsbibliothek is wonderful and from 1983 it is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Stiftsbibliothek was saved from the destruction during the Reform. The main room was planned by Peter Thumb between 1758 and 1767 and it is a wonderful Baroque masterpiece with elaborate rococo decorations. The floor, in wood, is elegantly inlay while the ceiling is adorned by workmanships in plaster made by brothers Gigl and with Trompe-oil paintings made by Joseph Wannenmacher. The library contains over 150000 books and manuscripts, among which there is the important collection of Irish manuscripts of the period between the 8th to the 11th century, miniatures of Carolingian school, and Egyptians sarcophaguses.
Wonderful are the baroque altars with plasters and fantastic paintings of Saints. The main altar is a work of J.S.Moosbrugger (1810) and the painting showing the Assumption Of the Lady made by Francesco Romanelli in 1645. The confessionals and magnificent carved wooden choir was made by J.To.Feichtmayer among 1763 and 1768.
More photos in this travelogue.
The wonderful interior of the church has got a single nave with a centrale dome preceded and followed by spans that create the aisle and the presbytery. The presbitery is separated by elegant railing made by J.Mayer in 1771. The walls and the spans are decorated with rococo decoration of green plasters made by the brothers' J.G. and M.Giggl, and by Wessobrunn. Fantastic are the paintings in the domes made by J.Wannenmacher.
More photos on this travelogue.
The monastery was founded in 613 and dedicated to Saint Gallus. During the Middle Ages was founded the famous schools of St. Gall, where arts, letters and sciences flourished.
The nowday cathedral was built among 1756 and1760 on project of the Italian architect G.G.Bagnato and J.J. Beer. In the following year Peter Thumb created the anterior part of the cathedral. The presbytery with a beautiful convex prospectus among two tall towers, was made on a project of J.M.Beer.
The Abbey of St. Gall is a monumental complex made by different buildings. You must visit the wonderful Cathedral (Stiftskirche) and the Library (Stiftsbibliothek) inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List from 1983.
Gallussplatz is big beautiful square in front of the Abbey of St. Gall. All around it you can see wonderful half-timbered houses and Baroque one. A very beautiful half-timbered house is the Zur Jagerei built in 1576, the Sum Grunen and Zum Greif was built in 1680 and have got sculputeres on the facade; the Stadthaus built in 1589 has got a Renaissance facade.
Walking along the Markplatz towards the Abbey of St. Gall, you will find on your right the Laurenzenkirche. Originally this church belonged to the abbatial complex. During the 16th century it became the principal center of the Reform in Sankt Gallen. The actual Neo-Gothic aspect was made in the restructuring effected to halves the 19th century. The interior of the church has got three naves with geometric sketches to the walls.
This big square located near the oriental side of Markplatz is dominated by the candid facade of the Waaghaus, the ancient weighs built in 1583. Today it is the center of the city authorities and used for shows and concerts.
The Old City has some really interesting architecture, St. Gallen is known for it's ornately decorated oriels (bay windows) and half timbered houses. There are 111 oriels in St. Gallen, mostly built between 1650 and 1720. I would have loved to have a guided tour or at least a guide to the significance behind some of the decoration but it was rather late in the afternoon when we arrived.
Much of the Old City is pedestrian only with lots of little shops and bakeries and chocolate stores, many of which were closing up right after we arrived.
Take a look at the other photos if you like detailed architecture and I've put a few more into a travelogue.
Photo #1 heads of an African and an Indian
Photo #2 the figure of Justice, blindfolded and carrying a sword and scales
Photo #3 dated 1707, features my favorite reptile, the snake
Photo #4 Two bears with axes holding a crown aloft, the words "Zum Baren" appear on it
Photo #5 dated 1765, features a star
Regrettably closed by the time we got to St. Gallen, this should be a must see if you visit St. Gallen as the pictures I've seen are incredible! The library holds 130,000 volumes (and I thought I had a lot of books!) and the library is decorated in the baroque style with beautiful ceiling paintings.
This website is a PDF file of a brochure for the Abbey of St. Gallen that has a photo of the beautiful library.
There is an admisson charge. Open Monday to Saturday: 10 - 17, Sunday: 10 - 16
As we were looking at the map we notice a VERY large lake, Lake Constance, that was sandwiched between Switzerland, Germany and Austria so I routed us so that we could at least take a peek at the lake on our way from Liechtenstein to St. Gallen. And that's pretty much all we did, we drove through Rorschach (no connection to the Rorschach inkblot test which was named after the developer, Hermann Rorschach) which is a pretty little medieval lakefront town, and then back to the highway onto St. Gallen.
If you want to visit Lake Constance, Rorschach might be a nice place to stay, looks like there is sailing, rowing, fishing, windsurfing and swimming from here as well as a nice lakefront promenade where you can walk or bike. Other Swiss towns along the lake are Horn, Arbon and Romanshorn.
For the 3rd time in a week, we wandered into a festival that we didn't know about, this one was on a Friday evening in mid August and was probably my favorite of the bunch as it centered around food! Had we stayed a little later, there appeared to also be a lot of music and dancing and drinking but we didn't want to test the drunk driving laws in Switzerland and we were quite a distance from our hotel.
They were just setting up a lot of the food booths when we arrived around 5pm so we had a walk through town and then started figuring out where we would start eating. The 1st thing we tried was spatzle with cheese and onion, then we moved to the guy selling raclette, followed by a sausage and capped off with a banana nutella crepe. YUM!