The Lapidarium in the Baroque cellar of the west wing houses an important collection of medieval architectural sculpture. Here you will find 9th
century Carolingian and Ottonian workpieces, as well as objects dating from the 15th
to the 17th
century. The early medieval capitals and imposts are among the largest and most impressive examples of Carolingian architectural sculpture.
The visitor’s tour of the Lapidarium takes in different building phases of the abbey and its church, spanning a period of over a thousand years. The individual objects are numbered, and explanations can be found under the corresponding numbers in the printed description.
Excavations carried out during the 1960s yielded new findings concerning the construction of the medieval abbey. As a result, it was possible to reconstruct the layout of the medieval abbey (built around 830) and compare it with the Carolingian abbey plan (dating from around 819). A visit to the Lapidarium thus provides a valuable insight into the historical background of the manuscripts kept at the Abbey Library.
Adjacent to the Lapidarium is a permanent exhibition entitled “The Cultural History of the Abbey of St. Gall”. The objects, illustrations and texts displayed in showcases and on panels provide a fascinating insight into the culture and history of the abbey, from its 7th
century beginnings at the time of the Irish monk Gallus to the flourishing of the abbey as a medieval centre of learning through to more recent times. Also on display is a model of an abbey constructed according to the famous Carolingian plan.