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The main urban centre of eastern Switzerland, ST GALLEN is a relaxed and conservative provincial city set amidst rolling countryside between the Appenzell hills to the south and the Bodensee to the north. It’s a gentle place, with a busy modern centre and a beautiful Old Town, and is worth a night or two on a journey through the region. The city’s centrepiece is an extraordinarily lavish Baroque abbey: the cathedral is impressive enough by itself, but the abbey library is celebrated as Switzerland’s finest secular Rococo interior and contains a world-class collection of ancient books and manuscripts.
Arrival, orientation and information
St Gallen is a stop on the summer rock-festival circuit, with the Open Air festival taking place over the last weekend in June and pulling in a varied range of musical attractions – 1999 attendees included Van Morrison, Blondie, the Asian Dub Foundation and Metallica. Information and tickets can be had from the tourist office, or from a dedicated hotline (071/222 21 21, www.openairsg.ch).
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