St. Gallen & Lake Constance

The city and region of St. Gallen in northeastern Switzerland is rich in history and culture, as well as modern attractions. The city was founded by Gallus, an Irish monk, around the year 612, as depicted in a colorful legend. Gallus went on to found a monastery with a library of 2,000 hand-written documents, making St. Gallen an international center of knowledge, learning and unique architecture. The cathedral that stands on the original site of the monastery is one of the most unique in Europe, which led UNESCO to designate old St. Gallen a World Heritage Site.

The textile and embroidery trade brought wealth and prestige to the city and the region, as reflected in St. Gallen’s grand architecture. The streets of the old city are full of charming shops and restaurants, many of which have been built into upper floors of historical private dwellings.

Just a few minutes to the north is the Lake of Constance (Bodensee in German), shared by Austria, Germany and Switzerland. There’s a long promenade at the lake shore town of Rorschach, as well as a bicycle path around the entire lake. Also nearby is the ancient spa at St. Margrethen, as well as the Principality of Liechtenstein – a tiny sovereign state, with a common monetary and customs union with Switzerland.