Friday, November 03, 2006

Founded in 612, the monastery of St. Gall was named after the Irish saint, St. Gallus. It remained an abbey until the early 1800s, when portions of it were sectioned off to house the bishop and the rest of the diocese. Through the centuries, the monastery survived uprisings of the townspeople, attacks from the Huns, and several fires. In the year 937 A.D., when threatened by the Huns, much St. Gall's library's manuscripts were moved to the neighboring abbey of Riechneau. However, some were restored years later, and the abbey's current library contains 30,000 documents.

The monastery's founder, St. Gallus, originally came to Switzerland as part of St. Columbanus missionary retinue. During his stay he became ill, and was forced to remain behind while St. Columbanus went on to Italy. After his recovery he remained in the region, and for his services, was given a plot of land in Arbon upon which he was permitted to create a monastery. The abbey as it stands today, was erected on the plot of land where he spent his last days of life.

Having withstood the test of time, St. Gall's library is famous for several important surviving documents: "Antiphonale Missarum", "Antiphonarium Sti. Gregorii", and a copy of St. Benedictus Rule. The monastery was also home to several historically important monks, one of whom was Notker the Stammerer. Notker is given credit for writing a biography of Charlemagne as well as the partial creation

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