When one takes on an off-the-beaten track in Switzerland, a dozen or more surprises can be found. That is what can happen when one ventures to St Gallen, the capital of a canton with the same name in the north-eastern side of the country. It has been called the 'city of a thousand steps', mainly due to the many steps built up two hills flanking the valley. Those interested in visiting here can enter through St Gallen Altenrhein Airport, which serves the area up to Lake Constance.
When going here, tourists will find a small passenger building with an apron and hangar stands for various types of aircraft. Two runways also accommodate the planes coming and going from the airport, with one asphalt runway extending up to 4,921 feet and a grass field about 1,968 feet. These allow for planes coming from the surrounding region and other countries to make their way to this part of Switzerland.
What to see & do
Known for a number of things, those going to visit St Gallen will find one detail striking out from the rest. It has a history for being the 'writing room of Europe', which one will understand when checking out Stiftsbibliothek. This 16th century library is one of the world's oldest, with a beautiful rococo architecture. It forms a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the rest of the monastery structures. Those visiting here will find rooms filled with precious books and manuscripts painstakingly handwritten during the medieval period. One will also marvel at the ceiling frescoes and the parquetry, as well as other ornate decorations. From here, one will find the Dom, a twin-towered cathedral with finely crafted frescoes and aqua-green stucco embellishments. No door can be found on the main facade, so visitors will have to take the entrance by the part of the church facing the north. The church is closed, however, when service is going on, which makes it necessary to enquire a proper time to visit.
The church of St Laurenzen Kirche is also a religious structure to behold here. Its neo-Gothic form is stunning with a mosaic-tiled roof, delicate floral frescoes, and a ceiling made to resemble the night sky. Those looking around here can go up the tower for fine views over the town's terracotta rooftops and spires. Those looking around will find other examples of St Gallen's heritage. There is the Textilmuseum to see, which showcases the city's status as an important hub of the Swiss textile industry. Other than the fascinating displays of the museum, visitors going here can stop by the museum's lounge bar, where one can have coffee and enjoy a relaxing moment. From here, tourists can then check out the Stadtlounge, a part of the historic area of St Gallen. With part of the grounds covered with rubberised red coating and outdoor furniture, the artwork here meant to show an art installation intended to appear as an outdoor living room.
How to get around within St Gallen
Those travelling around the area can take various modes of public transport. Short bus rides connect St Gallen from various cities surrounding the area. There are also trains that regularly serve St Gallen and other various areas, including provide a direct link to Bregenz in Austria, as well as Chur and Zurich. Tourists can also rent a car which will allow for more freedom of movement for those who want to cross out a detailed itinerary.
How to get there
When venturing to St Gallen, tourists can take the St Gallen Altenrhein Airport. Regular and seasonal charter flights fly here from different areas in the region such as Cagliari, Olbia, and Vienna, operated by InterSky and People’s Viennaline.