Sankt Gallen

Sankt Gallen
/zahngkt' gah"leuhn/
German name of St. Gallen.

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(German), French  Saint-Gall,  

      town, capital of Sankt Gallen canton, northeastern Switzerland, in the Steinach Valley, just south of Lake Constance (Bodensee). In 612 the Celtic missionary St. Gall (Gall, Saint) founded a hermitage on the site. Disciples joined him, and c. 720 the foundation became a Benedictine abbey under Abbot Otmar. Until the 11th century, the abbey school was the most important educational institution north of the Alps, and in its scriptorium were laid the foundations of the world-famed library. The town that developed around the abbey was ruled by the abbots, princes of the Holy Roman Empire after 1206. The abbey and the town allied with the Swiss Confederation in 1453 and 1454, respectively. Clerical rule ended with the introduction of the Reformation in 1524, and the town became the capital of the new canton formed in 1803, when the abbey was disendowed. The town's outlying parishes were incorporated in 1918, when a communal constitution was adopted. Sankt Gallen has been a Roman Catholic episcopal see since 1846.

      The most notable landmarks are the abbey church and the former monastic buildings. The church (1755–72), one of the finest Baroque structures in Switzerland, is now the Roman Catholic cathedral. The library (1758–67), with its unique Rococo hall, contains about 2,000 manuscripts, as well as numerous incunabula and books dating from the Carolingian and Ottonian empires. There is a commercial university, schools of textiles, embroidery, and fashion, several museums, a theatre, and a concert hall.

      Sankt Gallen had a long association with linen and cotton textiles and early in the 20th century was a leading embroidery centre. The latter industry still flourishes but has been balanced by metalworking and the manufacture of machinery and printing products. Well-known local events include the biennial Children's Summer Festival, the biennial International Horse Show, and the Swiss National Fair for agriculture and dairying. The population is German speaking and predominantly Roman Catholic. Pop. (2007 est.) city, 70,375; urban agglom., 145,627.

(German), French  Saint-Gall,  

      canton, northeastern Switzerland, bounded north by Lake Constance (Bodensee); east by the Rhine Valley, which separates it from the Austrian Vorarlberg Bundesland (federal state) and from Liechtenstein; south by the cantons of Graubünden, Glarus, and Schwyz; west by the canton of Zürich; and northwest by the canton of Thurgau. Appenzell Ausser-Rhoden and Appenzell Inner-Rhoden demicantons form an enclave in northern Sankt Gallen. Sankt Gallen canton has an area of 782 square miles (2,026 square km) and is traversed by the level valleys of the Rhine, Linth, and Seez rivers, the last flowing through the Walensee (Lake Walenstadt). Its topography varies from the extensive Rhine plain to the rolling country of the Fürstenland in the northwest, to Alpine peaks in the south and in the upper Toggenburg (Thur Valley). More than one-fourth of the area is forested, and three-fifths of the rest is meadowland and Alpine pastures.

      Historically, the canton represents the territorial acquisitions of the abbey-principality of Sankt Gallen. The area was included in Säntis canton of the Helvetic Republic after the abbey was secularized in 1798, and it entered the Swiss Confederation as Sankt Gallen canton in 1803. Its constitution dates from 1890.

      The predominant farming activity is dairying, with livestock raising in the uplands, but there is also a substantial production of fruit and wine in the Rhine and Seez valleys, with some mixed farming. Historically, the principal industry was textiles and embroidery, which is still widely distributed and includes the manufacture of textile machinery. Many rural families engage in home weaving or embroidery. Other industries in the canton include the manufacture of machinery, metal products, and precision instruments and food processing. There are numerous tourist, health, and winter-sports resorts in the canton, including those in the Toggenburg and along the Rhine and the thermal spa of Bad Ragaz. The capital is Sankt Gallen. The population is German speaking and about half Roman Catholic and more than one-fourth Protestant. Pop. (2007 est. ) 461,810.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Sankt Gallen [1] — Sankt Gallen, einer der nordöstlichen Kantone der Schweiz, grenzt östlich an Österreich und Graubünden, südlich an Graubünden, Glarus und Schwyz, westlich an Zürich, nördlich an Thurgau und umschließt den Kanton Appenzell. Der Flächeninhalt… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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