Hi, I'm Andie.

I live near the Swiss Alps, in Bern, and I love not only melting cheese, but all kinds of Swiss cooking. 

En Guetä!

Kloster St Gallen

Kloster St Gallen

 
 
 SB

SB

The Abbey of St Gallen is named for St Gall, an Irish disciple born in the year 550. He set forth in 589 as part of the Hiberno-Scottish mission, which saw Gaelic monks travelling through the continent to establish monasteries and spread Christianity.       

Eventually, St Gall set up a hermitage in what is now St Gallen, in eastern Switzerland. This was the site that would later become the Abbey. 

St Gall is often depicted with a bear companion. According to legend, St Gall's holiness was so great, that when confronted with a wild bear, instead of attacking him, the bear brought him firewood and remained his companion for life.

Bear iconography still exists in St Gallen, and although the abbey has not been active for two centuries, its cathedral is still an important place of worship. 

Today the monastery is perhaps most famous for its Stiftsbibliothek, a library that holds one of the world's largest collections of manuscripts from the medieval period and earlier. The room itself is a sight to behold, immaculatly bound volumes line wooden shelves under a breathtakingly ornate ceiling. The floors are so delicate that visitors have to wear slippers to enter the room. No photos are allowed, but you can see pictures here. The library also has a virtual catalogue that gives access to much of their collection. 
 

The Abbey of St Gallen is also the namesake of the delicious St Galler Klostertorte. Although a written version of the recipe didn't appear until 1947 when the abbey was no longer in use, it is possible that some version of this cocoa cousin of the Linzer Torte had been made in the monastery bakehouses. 

Schabziger

Schabziger

Berner Rose

Berner Rose