St. Gallen (or St. Gall) is the largest city in eastern Switzerland, located between Lake Constance (the "Bodensee") and the Appenzell Alps. St. Gallen was founded at the beginning of the 7th century by an Irish monk called Gallus who chose this spot for his hermitage. About one hundred years later, a Benedictine Abbey was founded, and with the addition of a library in the 9th century, St. Gallen became a center of learning. The famous cathedral and abbey library, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a must to visit. St. Gallen also was an important producer of linen which was exported throughout Europe, and St. Gallen’s embroidery is known around the world.
St. Gallen features one of the most picturesque Old Towns in Switzerland: many of the 16th and 17th century houses and buildings have painted facades, often adorned with wrought-iron signs and carved and painted wooden oriel windows. The pleasant alleys invite for strolling and shopping, and there are some interesting museums as well. Nearby Lake Constance and the Appenzellerland offer numerous outdoor activities, during summer and winter months. Mt. Saentis, the highest peak of the region is reached by a modern cable car, and from its top the view over St. Gallen and the Bodensee Region is magnificent - on a clear day the panorama includes all six neighboring countries of Switzerland. More attractions and activities in St. Gallen and the Lake Constance Region.
St. Gallen is located in the north-eastern part of Switzerland at 675 m (2,215 ft) above sea level, approx. 30 km (18.5 miles) from the border to Austria. The city also is the capital of the Canton St. Gallen.
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Zurich-Kloten is the nearest international airport to St. Gallen; the journey on direct trains from/to the airport takes less than one hour. The EuroAirport in Basel-Mulhouse is within 2.5 hours by train, Geneva-Cointrin within 4 hours, as is the Munich Airport. St. Gallen also has a small regional airport Altenrhein (20 km / 12.4 miles from St. Gallen's center) with just a few international flights (mainly to/from Vienna, Austria).
St. Gallen is well connected to the Swiss and the international railway network. There are direct non-stop trains to/from Zurich connecting to/from numerous national and international trains such as the ICE.
St. Gallen is easily reached by car; the city lies on the A1 Swiss east-west Motorway, and via Zurich is connecting to all major destinations in western and northern Switzerland as well as to Germany and France. In addition, the A1 connects in St. Margrethen, just 27 km (17 miles) east of St. Gallen to the Swiss A13 Motorway to southern Switzerland (Chur, Ticino) and to Italy, and to the Austrian A14 Motorway.