The Abbey Library in St.Gallen is one of the oldest and most beautiful libraries in the world.
Above the library door, two cherubs bear a banner with the Greek inscription “Psyches iatereion”, freely translated as “soul apothecary”, inviting visitors to enter. The library is intended to offer “mental support” to visitors and users and provide a “sanatorium for the soul”.
The Abbey Library possesses a unique collection of early medieval manuscripts that document the accomplishments of the monastery from the 8th century on. More than 400 volumes dating from before the year 1000 bear impressive witness to the skills of book illustration and calligraphy and also science. The unique collection of early medieval Irish scripts and the world-famous plan of the St.Gallen Monastery is also worthy of note.
The whole inventory numbers some 160’000 volumes with around 30’000 placed in the Baroque Library Hall.
A curiosity on view is the well-preserved mummy of the daughter of an Egyptian priest with her richly decorated wooden coffins, dating from the 7th century.
The library’s most beautiful treasures are displayed in annually changing exhibitions. Each on a specific theme. The Abbey Library can be visited individually or within the framework of a guided tour.