The Abbey of St. Gall and the Flying Cathedral

From Switzerland, some eye candy for mid-December:

The Abbey of St. Gall, founded by St. Othmar on the spot where St. Gall had his hermitage, contains one of the richest medieval libraries in the world.  The interior of the cathedral is one of Europe’s most important baroque monuments, in the Rococo style with carved polished wood, stucco and an elaborately painted ceiling.  Since 1983 it’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Among the most valuable documents in the library’s collection is a copy of Priscian’s Institutiones grammaticae which contains the poem Is acher in gaíth in-nocht… written in Old Irish.

The library also preserves a unique 9th-century document, known as the Plan of St. Gall, the only surviving major architectural drawing from the roughly 700-year period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the 13th century. The Plan—which was never actually built—was an ideal of what a well-designed and well-supplied monastery should have, as envisioned by one of the synods held at Aachen for the reform of monasticism in the Frankish empire during the early years of emperor Louis the Pious (between 814 and 817).


And here, the “Flying Cathedral”—a hot air balloon designed in 2008 by artists Jan Kaeser and Martin Zimmerman.  The balloon is a replica of the ninth-century Abbey.  Here, it’s shown flying at Ballontage Alpenrheintal, a Swiss hot air balloon festival.