St. Gallen

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St. Gallen
St.Gallen vonDreiweieren 09.jpg
A view of St. Gallen
Coa stgallen.svg
Location of St. Gallen
St. Gallen
Switzerland adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
St. Gallen
Reliefkarte St. Gallen blank.png
Red pog.svg
St. Gallen
Coordinates: 47°25′27″N9°22′15″E / 47.42417°N 9.37083°E / 47.42417; 9.37083 Coordinates: 47°25′27″N9°22′15″E / 47.42417°N 9.37083°E / 47.42417; 9.37083
Country Switzerland
Canton St. Gallen
District St. Gallen
   Executive Stadtrat
with 5 members
   Mayor Stadtpräsidentin  (list)
Maria Pappa  SPS/PSS
(as of January 2021)
   Parliament Stadtparlament
with 63 members
  Total39.41 km2 (15.22 sq mi)
669 m (2,195 ft)
Highest elevation
1,074 m (3,524 ft)
Lowest elevation
496 m (1,627 ft)
 (2018-12-31) [2]
  Density1,900/km2 (5,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s) German: Sankt-Galler(in)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (Central European Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (Central European Summer Time)
Postal code(s)
9000, 9008, 9010-9012, 9014-9016 St. Gallen (partly: 9037 Speicherschwendi, 9042 Speicher)
SFOS number 3203
LocalitiesWolfganghof, Winkeln, Bruggen, Lachen, Rosenberg, Riethüsli, St. Georgen, Innenstadt, St. Jakob, Linsenbühl-Dreilinden, Rotmonten, Langgass-Heiligkreuz, St. Fiden, Notkersegg, Neudorf, Achslen, Guggeien
Surrounded by Eggersriet, Gaiserwald, Gossau, Herisau (AR), Mörschwil, Speicher (AR), Stein (AR), Teufen (AR), Untereggen, Wittenbach
Twin towns Liberec (Czech Republic)
SFSO statistics

St. Gallen or traditionally St Gall, in German sometimes Sankt Gallen ( Loudspeaker.svg Sankt Gallen  ; English: St Gallen; French : Saint-Gall; Italian : San Gallo; Romansh : Son Gagl) is a Swiss city and the capital of the canton of St. Gallen. It evolved from the hermitage of Saint Gall, founded in the 7th century. [3] Today, it is a large urban agglomeration (with around 167,000 inhabitants in 2019) [4] and represents the center of eastern Switzerland. Its economy consists mainly of the service sector. The city is home of the University of St. Gallen, formerly one of the best business schools in Europe. [5]


The main tourist attraction is the Abbey of Saint Gall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Abbey's renowned library contains books from the 9th century. The official language of St. Gallen is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect. The city has good transport links to the rest of the country and to neighbouring Germany and Austria. It also functions as the gate to the Appenzellerland.


Imperial City of St. Gallen
Reichsstadt Sankt Gallen
Status State of the Holy Roman Empire (to 1499 / 1648)
Old Swiss Confederacy associate and protectorate (1454–1798)
CapitalSt. Gallen
Common languages High Alemannic
Historical era Renaissance, Baroque
 Town founded
10th century
 Gained Reichsfreiheit
17 August 1451
  Associate & protectorat of Old Swiss Confederacy
Early Swiss cross.svg

13 June 1454
  Swabian War: de facto independent from Holy Roman Empire
  Peace of Westphalia: de jure independence
Flag of the Helvetic Republic (French).svg
  Helvetic Republic collapsed; town & abbey became part of newly founded canton of St. Gallen
St.Gallen-coat of arms.svg

Preceded by
Succeeded by
Coa Abbey Saint Gall.svg Abbey of St Gall
Canton of Säntis Republiquehelv.svg
The Abbey Cathedral of Saint Gall Stiftskirche St.Gallen.jpg
The Abbey Cathedral of Saint Gall

Early history

The town of St. Gallen grew around the Abbey of St Gall, founded in the 8th century. [6]

The abbey is said to have been built at the site of the hermitage of Irish missionary Gallus, who according to legend had established himself by the river Steinach in AD 612. [7]

The monastery itself was founded by Saint Othmar in c. 720. [6]

The abbey prospered in the 9th century and became a site of pilgrimage and a center of trade, with associated guest houses, stables and other facilities, a hospital, one of the first monastery schools north of the Alps. By the tenth century, a settlement had grown up around the abbey. [6]

In 926 Magyar raiders attacked the abbey and surrounding town. Saint Wiborada, the first woman formally canonized by the Vatican, [8] reportedly saw a vision of the impending attack and warned the monks and citizens to flee. While the monks and the abbey treasure escaped, Wiborada chose to stay behind and was killed by the raiders. [9] Between 924 and 933 the Magyars again threatened the abbey, and its books were removed for safekeeping to Reichenau. Not all the books were returned. [10]

On 26 April 937 a fire consumed much of the abbey, spreading to the adjoining settlement. However, the library was spared. [10] About 954 a protective wall was raised around the abbey; by 975 abbot Notker finished the wall, and the adjoining settlement began growing into the town of St Gall. [10] [7]

A wall with gates and towers was built in 953/954 under abbot Anno and 971-975 under abbot Notker, first establishing the abbey and its associated settlement as a town. [6]

Independence from the Abbey

From the later 12th century, the town of St. Gall increasingly pushed for independence from the abbey. In 1180, an imperial reeve, who was not answerable to the abbot, was installed in the town. [3]

In 1207, Abbot Ulrich von Sax was granted the rank of Imperial Prince (Reichsfürst) by Philip of Swabia, King of the Germans. [6] [7] As an ecclesiastical principality, the Abbey of St. Gallen was to constitute an important territorial state and a major regional power in northern Switzerland. [6]

The city of St. Gallen proper progressively freed itself from the rule of the abbot. Abbot Wilhelm von Montfort in 1291 granted special privileges to the citizens. [3] By about 1353 the guilds, headed by the cloth-weavers guild, had gained control of the civic government. [7] In 1415 the city bought its liberty from the German king Sigismund. [7]

Ally of the Swiss Confederacy

In 1405, the Appenzell estates of the abbot successfully rebelled and in 1411 they became allies of the Old Swiss Confederation. A few months later, the town of St. Gallen also became an ally. They joined the "everlasting alliance" as full members of the Confederation in 1454 and in 1457 became completely free from the abbot. [7]

However, in 1451 the abbey became an ally of Zurich, Lucerne, Schwyz, and Glarus who were all members of the Confederation.

Ulrich Varnbüler was an early mayor of St. Gallen and perhaps one of the most colorful. Hans, the father of Ulrich, was prominent in city affairs in St. Gallen in the early 15th century. Ulrich entered public affairs in the early 1460s and attained the various offices and honours that are available to a talented and ambitious man. He demonstrated fine qualities as field commander of the St. Gallen troops in the Burgundian Wars.

In the Battle of Grandson (1476) his troops were part of the advance units of the Confederation and took part in their famous attack. A large painting of Ulrich returning triumphantly to a hero's welcome in St. Gallen is still displayed in St. Gallen.

After the war, Varnbüler often represented St. Gallen at the various parliaments of the Confederation. In December 1480, Varnbüler was offered the position of mayor for the first time. From that time on, he served in several leadership positions and was considered the city's intellectual and political leader.

According to Vadian, who understood his contemporaries well, "Ulrich was a very intelligent, observant, and eloquent man who enjoyed the trust of the citizenry to a high degree."

His reputation among the Confederates was also substantial. However, in the late 1480s, he became involved in a conflict that was to have serious negative consequences for him and for the city.

St. Gallen in 1548 Sankt Gallen Stumpf 1548.jpg
St. Gallen in 1548
St. Gallen in 1642 Stadtplan St Gallen 1642.png
St. Gallen in 1642

In 1463, Ulrich Rösch had assumed the management of the abbey of Saint Gall. He was an ambitious prelate, whose goal was to return the abbey to prominence by every possible means, following the losses of the Appenzell War.

His restless ambition offended the political and material interests of his neighbours. When he arranged for the help of the Pope and the Emperor to carry out a plan to move the abbey to Rorschach on Lake Constance, he encountered stiff resistance from the St. Gallen citizenry, other clerics, and the Appenzell nobility in the Rhine Valley, who were concerned for their holdings.

At this point, Varnbüler entered the conflict against the prelate. He wanted to restrain the increase of the abbey's power and at the same time increase the power of the town that had been restricted in its development. For this purpose he established contact with farmers and Appenzell residents (led by the fanatical Hermann Schwendiner) who were seeking an opportunity to weaken the abbot.

Initially, he protested to the abbot and the representatives of the four sponsoring Confederate cantons (Zurich, Lucerne, Schwyz, and Glarus) against the construction of the new abbey in Rorschach. Then on 28 July 1489 he had armed troops from St. Gallen and Appenzell destroy the buildings already under construction, an attack known as the Rorschacher Klosterbruch. [7]

When the Abbot complained to the Confederates about the damage and demanded full compensation, Ulrich responded with a countersuit, and in cooperation with Schwendiner rejected the arbitration efforts of the non-partisan Confederates. He motivated the clerics from Wil to Rorschach to abandon their loyalty to the abbey and spoke against the abbey at a meeting of the townspeople at Waldkirch, where the popular league was formed. He was confident that the four sponsoring cantons would not intervene with force, due to the prevailing tensions between the Confederation and the Swabian League. He was strengthened in his resolve when the people of St. Gallen re-elected him as their highest magistrate in 1490.

Invasion of 1490

Ulrich Varnbüler had made a serious miscalculation. In early 1490, the four cantons decided to carry out their duty to the abbey and to invade the St. Gallen canton with an armed force. The people of Appenzell and the local clerics submitted to this force without significant resistance, while the city of St. Gallen braced itself for a fight to the finish. However, when they learned that their compatriots had given up the fight, they lost confidence, and they agreed to a settlement that greatly restricted the city's power and burdened the city with serious penalties and reparation payments.

Ulrich, overwhelmed by the responsibility for his political decisions, panicked in the face of the approaching enemy who wanted him apprehended. His life was in great danger, and he was forced to escape from the city disguised as a messenger. He made his way to Lindau and to Innsbruck and the court of King Maximilian. The victors confiscated those of his properties that lay outside of the city of St. Gallen and banned him from the Confederation. Ulrich then appealed to the imperial court (as did Schwendiner, who had fled with him) for the return of his property.

The suit had the support of Friedrich II and Maximilian and the trial threatened to drag on for years: it was continued by Ulrich's sons Hans and Ulrich after his death in 1496, and eventually the Varnbülers regained their properties. However, other political ramifications resulted from the court action, because the Confederation gained ownership of the city of St. Gallen and rejected the inroads of the empire. Thus, the conflict strengthened the relationship between the Confederation and the city of St. Gallen. On the other hand, the matter deepened the alienation between Switzerland and the German Holy Roman Empire, which eventually led to a total separation after the Swabian War.

Despite the unpropitious end of his career, Ulrich Varnbüler is immortalized in a famous woodcut by Albrecht Dürer, which is now part of the Smithsonian Institution's woodcut collection in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Among Varnbüler's sons, the eldest (Hans/Johann) became the mayor of Lindau. He is the patriarch of the Baden and Württemberg Varnbülers.


Starting in 1526 then-mayor and humanist Joachim von Watt (Vadian) introduced the Protestant Reformation into St. Gallen. The town converted to the new religion while the abbey remained Roman Catholic. While iconoclastic riots forced the monks to flee the city and remove images from the city's churches, the fortified abbey remained untouched. [11] The abbey would remain a Catholic stronghold in the Protestant city until 1803.

Modern history

In 1798 Napoleon invaded the Old Swiss Confederation, destroying the Ancien Régime. Under the Helvetic Republic both the abbey and the city lost their power and were combined with Appenzell into the Canton of Säntis. The Helvetic Republic was widely unpopular in Switzerland and was overthrown in 1803. Following the Act of Mediation the city of St. Gallen became the capital of the Protestant Canton of St. Gallen.

One of the first acts of the new canton was to suppress the abbey. [11] The monks were driven from the abbey; the last abbot died in Muri in 1829. [12] In 1846 a rearrangement in the local dioceses made St. Gall a separate diocese, with the abbey church as its cathedral and a portion of the monastic buildings designated the bishop's residence.

Gustav Adolf, former king of Sweden, spent the last years of his life in St. Gallen, and died there in 1837.

A view of St. Gallen ca. 1900 by Spelterini CH-NB - St. Gallen, Altstadt - Eduard Spelterini - EAD-WEHR-32028-A.tif
A view of St. Gallen ca. 1900 by Spelterini
Aerial view by Walter Mittelholzer (1919) ETH-BIB-St. Gallen, Altstadt, Bahnhof-Inlandfluge-LBS MH01-000602.tif
Aerial view by Walter Mittelholzer (1919)

In the 15th century, St. Gallen became known for producing quality textiles. In 1714, the zenith was reached with a yearly production of 38,000 pieces of cloth. The first depression occurred in the middle of the 18th century, caused by strong foreign competition and reforms in methods of cotton production. But St. Gallen recovered and an even more prosperous era arrived.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the first embroidery machines were developed in St. Gallen. In 1910 the embroidery production constituted the largest export branch (18% of the total export value) in Switzerland and more than half of the worldwide production of embroidery originated in St. Gallen. One fifth of the population of the eastern part of Switzerland was involved with the textile industry. However, World War I and the Great Depression caused another severe crisis for St. Gallen embroidery. Only in the 1950s did the textile industry recover somewhat. Nowadays, because of competition and the prevalence of computer-operated embroidery machines, only a reduced textile industry has survived in St. Gallen; but its embroidered textiles are still popular with Parisian haute couture designers.

Geography and climate


St. Gallen is situated in the northeastern part of Switzerland in a valley about 700 meters (2,300 ft) above sea level. It is one of the highest cities in Switzerland and thus receives abundant winter snow. The city lies between Lake Constance and the mountains of the Appenzell Alps (with the Säntis as the highest peak at 2,502 meters (8,209 ft)). It therefore offers excellent recreation areas nearby.

As the city center is built on an unstable turf ground (its founder Gallus was looking for a site for a hermitage, not for a city), all buildings on the valley floor must be built on piles. For example, the entire foundation of the train station and its plaza are based on hundreds of piles.

St. Gallen has an area, as of 2017, of 39.38 km2 (15.20 sq mi). Of this area, 27.7% is used for agricultural purposes, while 28.2% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 42.1% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (1.9%) is non-productive (rivers or lakes). [13]


St. Gallen has a humid continental climate (Dfb) with short, warm summers and long, moderately cold winters. Precipitation is very high year round. St. Gallen has a very cloudy climate.

Between 1981 and 2010 St. Gallen had an average of 141 days of rain or snow per year and on average received 1,248 mm (49.1 in) of precipitation. The wettest month was July during which time St. Gallen received an average of 172 mm (6.8 in) of rain. During this month there was precipitation for an average of 13.8 days. The month with the most days of precipitation were June and July May. The driest month of the year was February with an average of 57 mm (2.2 in) of precipitation over 9.1 days. [14]

Climate data for St. Gallen (1981–2010)
Average high °C (°F)2.5
Daily mean °C (°F)−0.3
Average low °C (°F)−3.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)59
Average snowfall cm (inches)39.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm)
Average relative humidity (%)84.181.776.975.574.575.474.478.181.583.883.885.579.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 597912015217718421919914510059431,535
Percent possible sunshine 28323539404048484134262238
Source: MeteoSwiss [14]


St. Gallen is notable for reporting the highest maximum radioactivity measurements of any Swiss city, as published in the 2009 yearly report by the Federal Office of Public Health. While the daily average level of gamma-ray radioactivity in the city is unremarkable at 105 nSv/h, the maximum can reach 195 nSv/h, as high as the average for Jungfraujoch, the location with the highest reported level of radioactivity in Switzerland, due to its high elevation and therefore greater exposure to cosmic rays. The same report explains that the unusually high spikes of radioactivity measured in St. Gallen are due to radioactive products of radon gas being washed to the ground during heavy storms, but does not explain where the sufficient quantities of radon gas and its products to account for the anomaly would come from. [15] The yearly report for 2009 on risks associated with radon published by the same governmental agency shows St. Gallen to lie in an area of the lowest level of radon exposure. [16] In addition to the measured gamma-radiation, the city may be subject to radioactive tritium pollution in Teufen, a satellite town situated 4 km south of the city in the canton of Appenzell Outer Rhodes (this pollution is also covered in the report).


Coat of arms

The blazon of the municipal coat of arms is Argent a Bear rampant Sable langued and in his virility Gules and armed and gorged Or. [17]



The City Council (Stadtrat) constitutes the executive government of the City of St. Gallen and operates as a collegiate authority. It is composed of five councilors (German : Stadtrat/ Stadträtin), each presiding over a directorate. The president of the presidential directorate acts as mayor (Stadtpräsident). In the mandate period 2017–2020 (Legislatur) the City Council is presided by Stadtpräsidentin Maria Pappa. Departmental tasks, coordination measures and implementation of laws decreed by the City Parliament are carried by the City Council. The regular election of the City Council by any inhabitant valid to vote is held every four years. Any resident of St. Gallen allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the City Council. The current mandate period is from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2024. The mayor is elected as such by public election by means of a system of Majorz, while the heads of the other directorates are assigned by the collegiate. The delegates are elected by means of a system of Majorz. [18]

As of 2017, St. Gallen's City Council is made up of two representatives of the SP (Social Democratic Party) of which one is the mayor, one member of the FDP (FDP.The Liberals), one of the GLP (Green Liberal Party), and one independent. The last regular election was held on 27 September 2020. [18]

Stadtrat of St. Gallen [18]
City Councillor
(Stadtrat/ Stadträtin)
PartyHead of Directorate (Direktion, since) ofelected since
Maria Pappa [CC 1]   SPHome Secretary and Finances (Direktion Inneres und Finanzen, 2021)2016
Dr. Sonja Lüthi [CC 2]   glpSocial Services and Security (Direktion Soziales und Sicherheit, 2017)Nov 2017 [19]
Markus Buschor  independentCivil Engineering and Construction and Planning (Direktion Bau und Planung, 2021)2012
Peter Jans   SPIndustrial Facilities (Direktion Technische Betriebe, 2015)2014
Mathis Gabathuler   FDPEducation and Spare Time (Direktion Bildung und Freizeit, 2021)2020
  1. Mayor (Stadtpräsidentin)
  2. Vice-Mayor (Vize-Stadtpräsident)

Manfred Linke is City Chancellor (Stadtschreiber) since for the City Chancellary.


The Stadtparlament of St. Gallen for the mandate period of 2021-2024

  JUSO (1.6%)
  JungeGr (1.6%)
  SP (27%)
  GPS (11.1%)
  PFG (1.6%)
  glp (12.7%)
  EVP (1.6%)
  CVP (12.7%)
  FDP (17.5%)
  SVP (12.7%)

The City Parliament (Stadtparlament) holds legislative power. It is made up of 63 members, with elections held every four years. The City Parliament decrees regulations and by-laws that are executed by the City Council and the administration. The delegates are selected by means of a system of proportional representation (Proporz).

The sessions of the City Parliament are public. Unlike members of the City Council, members of the City Parliament are not politicians by profession, and they are paid a fee based on their attendance. Any resident of St. Gallen allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the City Parliament. The parliament holds its meetings in the Waaghaus once a week on Tuesdays. [20]

The last regular election of the City Parliament was held on 27 September 2020 for the mandate period (German : Legislatur) from January 2021 to December 2024. Currently the City Parliament consists of 17 members of the Social Democratic Party (SP/PS) and one of its junior section, the JUSO, 11 The Liberals (FDP/PLR), 8 Green Liberal Party (GLP/PVL), 8 Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP/PDC), 8 Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC), 7 Green Party (GPS/PES) and 1 of its junior section, the JungeGr, one representative of the Evangelical People's Party (EVP), and one member of the Politische Frauengruppe (PFG) (Political Women Group). [20]

National elections

National Council

In the 2019 federal election for the Swiss National Council the most popular party was the PS which received 24.4% (-3.8) of the vote. The next five most popular parties were the Green Party (17.5%, +8.3), the SVP (16.5%, -4.6), FDP (14.4%, +0.1), the CVP (12.6%, +0.4), and the GLP (10.9%, +4.4). [21] In the federal election a total of 18,821 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 42.9%. [22]

In the 2015 election for the Swiss National Council the most popular party was the SPS which received 28.1% of the vote. The next five most popular parties were the SVP (21.1%), the FDP (14.3%), the CVP (12.2%), the GPS (9.2%), and the GLP (6.6%). In the federal election, a total of 20,768 voters were cast, and the voter turnout was 46.0%. [23]

International relations

St. Gallen is twinned with:



Largest groups of foreign residents 2019 [24]
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 4,979
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 2,713
Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo 1,935
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 1,339
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 1,163
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 1,144
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia-Herzegovina 995
Flag of North Macedonia.svg  North Macedonia 894
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 725
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 707

St. Gallen has a population (as of 31 December 2019) of 76,090. [25] As of 2019, about 31.4% of the population was made up of foreign nationals. [26] The population has grown at 4.4% per year. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (83.0%), with Italian being second most common (3.7%) and Serbo-Croatian being third (3.7%). [27] Of the Swiss national languages (as of 2000), 60,297 speak German, 575 people speak French, 2,722 people speak Italian, and 147 people speak Romansh. [28]

The age distribution, as of 2000, in St. Gallen is: 6,742 (9.3%) between 0 and 9 years old; 7,595 (10.5%) between 10 and 19; 12,574 (17.3%) between 20 and 29; 11,735 (16.2%) between 30 and 39; 9,535 (13.1%) between 40 and 49; 8,432 (11.6%) between 50 and 59; 6,461 (8.9%) between 60 and 69; 5,633 (7.8%) between 70 and 79; 3,255 (4.5%) between 80 and 89; 655 (0.9%) between 90 and 99; 9 people (0.0%) aged 100 or more. [28]

In 2000 there were 16,166 people (22.3%) who were living alone in private dwellings; 17,137 (or 23.6%) who were part of a couple (married or otherwise committed) without children, and 27,937 (or 38.5%) who were part of a couple with children. There were 4,533 (or 6.2%) people who lived in single parent home, while there are 419 persons who were adult children living with one or both parents, 475 persons who lived in a household made up of relatives, 2,296 who lived household made up of unrelated persons, and 3,663 who are either institutionalized or live in another type of collective housing. [28]

Historical population

The historical population is given in the following table: [3]

yearpopulationSwiss Nationals % German Speaking  % Italian Speaking  % Romansh Speaking % Protestant  % Roman Catholic
1411ca. 2,300–2,900
about 1500ca. 3,000–4,000
1680ca. 6,000
1766ca. 8,350


As of  2007, St. Gallen had an unemployment rate of 2.69%. As of 2005, there were 336 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 95 businesses involved in this sector. 11,227 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 707 businesses in this sector. 48,729 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 4,035 businesses in this sector. [27] As of October 2009 the average unemployment rate was 4.5%. [29] There were 4857 businesses in the municipality of which 689 were involved in the secondary sector of the economy while 4102 were involved in the third. [30] As of 2000 there were 28,399 residents who worked in the municipality, while 8,927 residents worked outside St. Gallen and 31,543 people commuted into the municipality for work. [31]

Helvetia Insurance is a major company headquartered in St. Gallen.


According to the 2000 census, 31,978 or 44.0% are Roman Catholic, while 19,578 or 27.0% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there are 112 individuals (or about 0.15% of the population) who belong to the Christian Catholic faith, there are 3,253 individuals (or about 4.48% of the population) who belong to the Orthodox Church, and there are 1,502 individuals (or about 2.07% of the population) who belong to another Christian church. There are 133 individuals (or about 0.18% of the population) who are Jewish, and 4,856 (or about 6.69% of the population) who are Muslim. There are 837 individuals (or about 1.15% of the population) who belong to another church (not listed on the census), 7,221 (or about 9.94% of the population) belong to no church, are agnostic or atheist, and 3,156 individuals (or about 4.35% of the population) did not answer the question. [28]


HSG campus with the Abbey in the background St Gallen University.jpg
HSG campus with the Abbey in the background

St. Gallen is known for its business school, now named the University of St. Gallen (HSG). It was ranked as the top business school in Europe by Wirtschaftswoche, a weekly German business news magazine and is highly ranked by several other sources. [32] Recently, HSG has been building a reputation for Executive Education, with its International MBA recognised as one of Europe's leading programmes, [33] and runs a PhD programme. [34] HSG is a focused university that offers degrees in business and management, economics, political science and international relations as well as business law. [35] The Master in Management course was Ranked number 1 in 2014 by The Financial Times ahead of HEC Paris. [36] It is comparatively small, with about 6,500 students enrolled at present, has both EQUIS and AACSB accreditations, and is a member of CEMS (Community of European Management Schools). [37] The university maintains student and faculty exchange programs around the world. The University of St. Gallen is also famous for its high density of clubs. Particularly well known is the International Students’ Committee, which has organised the St. Gallen Symposium for over forty years. The St. Gallen Symposium is the leading student-run economic conference of its kind worldwide and aims to foster the dialogue between generations.

St. Gallen's state school system contains 64 kindergartens, 21 primary schools and 7 secondary schools and about 6,800 students. [38] In addition to the state system, St. Gallen is home to the Institut auf dem Rosenberg — an élite boarding school attracting students from all over the world. The Institut provides an education in English, German and Italian and prepares the students to enter: American, British, Swiss, Italian, German and other European university programmes. [39]

The canton's Gewerbliches Berufs- und Weiterbildungszentrum is the largest occupational school in Switzerland with over 10,000 students and various specialty institutes. One for example, the GBS Schule für Gestaltung teaches students design fundamentals in the practice of graphic design. The school is located in Riethüsli, a small section of the city of St. Gallen.

In St. Gallen about 68.8% of the population (between age 25–64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule ). [27] Out of the total population in St. Gallen, as of 2000, the highest education level completed by 15,035 people (20.7% of the population) was Primary, while 27,465 (37.8%) have completed their secondary education, 10,249 (14.1%) have attended a Tertiary school, and 2,910 (4.0%) are not in school. The remainder did not answer this question. [28]

Culture and sightseeing

Old houses of St. Gallen Sankt Gallen houses.jpg
Old houses of St. Gallen
The interior of the Cathedral is one of the most important baroque monuments in Switzerland St.Gallen Abbey.JPG
The interior of the Cathedral is one of the most important baroque monuments in Switzerland
Library of St. Gallen Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen 1.jpg
Library of St. Gallen
An opera rehearsal in front of St. Gallen Cathedral, 2007 Kulisse St.Gallen.jpg
An opera rehearsal in front of St. Gallen Cathedral, 2007
Citylounge ("Stadtlounge") at Raiffeisen square Stadtlounge auf dem Raiffeisenplatz in St. Gallen.jpg
Citylounge ("Stadtlounge") at Raiffeisen square

After the years of Gallus' death, the place became one of the centers of Germanic culture. This is because of the creative works of the monks who followed the footsteps of the city's founder Gallus. [40] This resulted to numerous heritage sites of national significance of the country.

In 1992, St. Gallen was awarded the Wakker Prize for the city's effort to create a unified structure and appearance in current and future construction. [41]

Heritage sites of national significance

There are 28 sites in St. Gallen that are listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance, including four religious buildings; the Abbey of St. Gallen, the former Dominican Abbey of St. Katharina, the Reformed Church of St. Laurenzenkirche and the Roman Catholic parish church of St. Maria Neudorf.

There are six museums or archives in the inventory. This includes the Textile museum, the Historical and ethnographical museum, the Cantonal library and city archives, the Art and Natural History museum, the Museum in Lagerhaus and the St. Gallen State Archive. The entire city of St. Gallen is the only archeological heritage site. Two bridges are listed, the Eisenbahnbrücke BT (railroad bridge) and the Kräzern-Strassenbrücke with a custom house.

The twelve other sites include the main train station, main post office, University of St. Gallen, Cantonal School, City Theatre and two towers; the Lokremise with Wasserturm and the Tröckneturm. [42]






Regular events


kybunpark, home stadium of FC St. Gallen AFG ARENA St. Gallen - Erstes Spiel CH - LIE 03.jpg
kybunpark, home stadium of FC St. Gallen


The large urban area Zurich is 80 km south-west of St. Gallen, a 60-minute drive or train ride (ICN train).

Road transportation

The A1 motorway links St. Gallen with St. Margrethen, Zurich, Bern and Geneva. In 1987 the city motorway was opened, which conveys the traffic through two tunnels (Rosenberg and Stefanshorn) almost directly below the city center.

Air transportation

The Airport St. Gallen-Altenrhein, near Lake of Constance, provides scheduled airline flights to Vienna and other destinations.

Public transport

By rail and tram

Trogen railway running tramway-like on St. Gallen roads Trogenerbahn.jpg
Trogen railway running tramway-like on St. Gallen roads

St. Gallen railway station is part of the national Swiss Federal Railways network and has InterCity connections to Zurich and the Zurich Airport every half-hour. St. Gallen is the hub for many private railways such as the Südostbahn (SOB), connecting St. Gallen with Lucerne, the Appenzeller Bahnen, which operates the Appenzell–St. Gallen–Trogen railway, connecting to Appenzell and Trogen, and also serves as a tram in downtown.

By bus

The city has a dense local bus system, including the city's trolleybus network, which is operated by the VBSG and is well established on the valley floor, but less so on the hills. As St. Gallen is located near the Appenzell mountain area, it offers also many Postauto (post bus) connections. The agglomeration also has its own St. Gallen S-Bahn system (overground local trains).

Expansion - St. Gallen 2013

The "St. Gallen 2013" project aimed to improve local rail services, with infrastructure upgrades and new rolling stock. By December 2013, S-Bahn services would run on six lines, at intervals of 15 to 30 minutes. [47]

Notable people

portrait of Adrian Zingg, 1796 Adrian Zingg.jpg
portrait of Adrian Zingg, 1796
Gall Morel, 1872 Gall Morel.png
Gall Morel, 1872
Julius Billeter, 1899 Julius Billeter (1869-1957).jpg
Julius Billeter, 1899
Martha Cunz Martha Cunz, Selbstportrat.jpg
Martha Cunz
Paul Gruninger, probably in 1939 Paul Gruninger vermutlich im Jahr 1939.jpg
Paul Grüninger, probably in 1939

Early times

19th Century

20th Century

Niklaus Meienberg, 1979 Niklaus Meienberg.jpg
Niklaus Meienberg, 1979
Hans Fassler, 2017 HaFa1.JPG
Hans Fässler, 2017
Aurelia Frick, 2017 Aurelia Frick - 2017 (cropped).jpg
Aurelia Frick, 2017
Linda Fah, 2012 Linda Fah.JPG
Linda Fäh, 2012

See also

Notes and references

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  2.; retrieved: 2 June 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Stefan Sonderegger, Marcel Mayer:Sankt Gallen (Gemeinde) in German , French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland ,2012-01-16.
  4. "Lebensqualität in den Städten und Agglomerationen (Agglo 2012): Demographischer Kontext". Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  5. As of 3 December 2018. "Best European Business Schools In 2018, According To The Financial Times". 2018. Archived from the original on 15 October 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ernst Tremp:Sankt Gallen (Fürstabtei) in German , French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland ,2017-03-16.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Coolidge, William Augustus Brevoort (1911). "St Gall (town)"  . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 4.
  8. Jones, Terry. "Wiborada". Patron Saints Index. Archived from the original on 1 May 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  9. McNamara, Robert F. (Rev.) (20 February 2007). "St. Wiborada". Saints Alive. St. Thomas the Apostle Church. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
  10. 1 2 3 "Zeittafel zur Geschichte der Abtei St. Gallen" [Chronological History of St Gall Abbey](PDF) (in German). Staatskanzlei St. Gallen. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  11. 1 2 Switzerland is Gallen History Archived 26 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine accessed 20 November 2008
  12. Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Abbey of St. Gall"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  13. Swiss Federal Statistical Office Retrieved 26 July 2020
  14. 1 2 "Climate normals St. Gallen (Reference period 1981−2010)" (PDF). Zurich-Airport, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Office of Metreology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss. 2 July 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  15. Jahresberichte Umweltradioaktivität und Strahlendosen Archived 11 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine . See Jahresbericht 2009 (Alle Kapitel). BAG, Switzerland. 17 June 2010
  16. Jahresbericht Radon Archived 19 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine . See Jahresbericht 2009 Radon. BAG, Switzerland. 7 July 2010
  17. Flags of the Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine accessed 11 January 2010
  18. 1 2 3 "Stadtrat" (official site) (in German). St. Gallen, Switzerland: Stadt St. Gallen. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  19. "Ersatzwahl eines Mitglieds des Stadtrates, 2. Wahlgang vom 26. November 2017" (official site) (in German). St. Gallen, Switzerland: Stadt St. Gallen. 26 November 2017. Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  20. 1 2 "Parteien" (official site) (in German). St. Gallen, Switzerland: Stadt St. Gallen. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  21. Swiss Federal Statistical Office, FSO, ed. (28 November 2019). "NR - Ergebnisse Parteien (Gemeinden) (INT1)" (CSV) (official statistics) (in German, French, and Italian). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office, FSO. Retrieved 18 May 2020 via
  22. Swiss Federal Statistical Office, FSO, ed. (28 November 2019). "NR - Wahlbeteiligung (Gemeinden) (INT1)" (CSV) (official statistics) (in German, French, and Italian). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office, FSO. Retrieved 18 May 2020 via
  23. "Nationalratswahlen 2015: Stärke der Parteien und Wahlbeteiligung nach Gemeinden" (XLS) (official statistics) (in German and French). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 9 March 2016. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  24. "Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit". Bundesamt für Statik. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  25. "Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit". (in German). Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB. 31 December 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  26. "Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Staatsangehörigkeit (Kategorie), Geschlecht und Alter". Bundesamt für Statik. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  27. 1 2 3 Swiss Federal Statistical Office Archived 5 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine accessed 11 January 2010
  28. 1 2 3 4 5 Canton St. Gallen Statistics-Hauptergebnisse der Volkszählung 2000: Regionen- und Gemeindevergleich-Personen Archived 9 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine (in German) accessed 30 December 2009
  29. St Gallen Canton statistics-Unemployment Archived 22 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine (in German) accessed 30 December 2009
  30. St Gallen Canton statistics-Businesses Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine (in German) accessed 31 December 2009
  31. St Gallen Canton statistics-Commuters Archived 22 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine (in German) accessed 31 December 2009
  32. University of St Gallen, International MBA rankings Archived 26 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine accessed 29 April 2009
  33. Mohr, Christoph (9 April 2008). "Wo steht der deutsche MBA-Markt?". Wirtschafts Woche. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2009.(in German) mentions that there are only 7 "true" German MBAs with international appeal, of which HSG is one
  34. University of St Gallen, Doctoral programs Archived 13 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine accessed 29 April 2009
  35. University of St Gallen portal Archived 29 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine accessed 29 April 2009
  36. Archived 17 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine Financial Times Masters in Management Rankings 2014
  37. University of St Gallen-MBA Programme Archived 18 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine accessed 29 April 2009
  38. St Gallen Public School Office Archived 20 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine (in German) accessed 29 April 2009
  39. Swiss Federation of Private Schools website Archived 13 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine accessed 29 April 2009
  40. "Where to Go". Berlitz: Switzerland Pocket Guide. Princeton, NJ: Berlitz Publishing Company. April 1999. p. 40. ISBN   2-8315-7159-6.
  41. Wakker Prize Archived 11 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine (in German) accessed 11 May 2009
  42. Swiss inventory of cultural property of national and regional significance Archived 2 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine , (in German) accessed 17 August 2016
  43. 1 2 St. Gallen festivals Archived 19 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine (in German) accessed 26 June 2010
  44. Schützengarten brewery Archived 11 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine accessed 14 November 2008
  45. Archived 17 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine German only, pictures are universal though. The Stadtlounge was designed by Pipilotti Rist
  46. Rugby Club St. Gallen . Retrieved 12 September 2021.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  47. "St Gallen 2013 project underway". Railway Gazette International . Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  48. The Encyclopedia Americana, Schlatter, Michael Archived 4 December 2018 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 3 December 2018
  49. IMDb Database Archived 25 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 3 December 2018 [ unreliable source? ]
  50. IMDb Database Archived 16 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 3 December 2018 [ unreliable source? ]
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