St. Gallen

Tiina Kivelä

In our series of urban hiking, history lessons and life lessons – St. Gallen.

Recently, on a hot and lazy Sunday (no mountains this time), I sat in the old town of St. Gallen, next to the Abbey of St. Gall (UNESCO World Heritage site, btw), and procrastinated read about the St. Gall guy, from whom the city has gotten its name. It’s a funny and strange story, of a man who spent a hermit life in the woods near Lake Constance, and for whom the Cathedral and other stuff have been built, and whose statue now stands there in the middle of that fountain.

You should check the story out (I’m too lazy to copy it here but) – it’s interesting how strange origins some places and names have.

And I guess I should also tell you to check the city itself out. Though, I myself would have never thought I’d end up living in St. Gallen before I found myself living in here. It’s been strange spring and summer and I still don’t know exactly why I’m here and for how long I’m going to stay in here. But still, I guess after these kinda ok months I can say it’s worth a visit.

By now, I have checked the cathedral of St. Gallen (very posh) and noted how there’s a good free public WiFi in the yard of it (note). I’ve also checked the Stifstbibliothek (more than posh), in where photographing is unfortunately prohibited (damn, all the missed Instagram moments), and I’ve been to the Textilmuseum and Drei Weieren badi, though for my taste the waters of those outdoor pools (artificial ponds of some kind) are too murky for to actually swim in there.

And the colorful church roof there in the last picture. You know, for years already, I’ve been looking at these roofs all over Switzerland, on churches and other buildings, and thought that it’s a paint.  All this time.

Well, now I know it’s not. The patterns, and sometimes writings, are done with varied coloured tiles. I know, should have seen it. But I should have also been wearing my classes more often…

Also, note the excellent patio and creatively hidden dumpsters.

Tiina Kivelä

Tiina Kivelä

Tiina Kivelä

Tiina Kivelä


Where: St. Gallen Altstadt/Gallusplatz, Switzerland