Abbey of St. Gall

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The Abbey of Saint Gall (German: Fürstabtei Sankt Gallen) is a religious complex in the city of St. Gallen in present-day Switzerland. The Carolingian era Abbey has existed since 719 and became an independent principality during the 13th century, and was for many centuries one of the chief Benedictine abbeys in Europe. It was founded by Saint Othmar on the spot where Saint Gall had erected his Hermitage. The library at the Abbey is one of the richest medieval libraries in the world.[1] Since 1983, it has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Contents

History

Foundation

Around 613 an Irish monk named Gallus, a disciple and companion of Saint Columbanus, established a hermitage on the site that would become the Abbey. He lived in his cell until his death in 646.[2]

Following Gallus' death, Charles Martel appointed Othmar as custodian of St Gall's relics. During the reign of Pepin the Short, in 719, Othmar founded the Carolingian style Abbey of St. Gall, where arts, letters and sciences flourished. Under Abbot Waldo of Reichenau (740–814) copying of manuscripts was undertaken and a famous library was gathered. Numerous Anglo-Saxon and Irish monks came to copy manuscripts. At Charlemagne's request Pope Adrian I sent distinguished chanters from Rome, who propagated the use of the Gregorian chant.

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