St Gallen Abbey houses the oldest library in Switzerland. It is considered one of the most beautiful cloister librairies in the world and, along with whole abbey area, became a World Heritage site in 1983.
The abbey itself was founded in in 612, and the first records of a library date back to 820. In the following centuries, the abbey became a cultural centre famous for its writings and the illumination of manuscripts. The Baroque hall was built between 1758 and 1767. Today, the library contains 2,100 manuscripts, 1,650 incunabula (documents printed before 1501) and 170,000 books.
(Pictures: Keystone, RDB, swiss-image, Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen, EQ Images)