St Gallen, in eastern Switzerland, is beginning its winter season with organised walks through its medieval town.This content was published on December 10, 2001 - 08:26
Christmas decorations, fairy lights and stalls selling punch can be found in many European cities, but here, visitors have the opportunity to discover hidden treasures.
In St Gallen you can enjoy a guided tour through the atmospheric Christmas market, and the narrow lanes and lively squares decorated with Christmas lights and candles.
The guided walks are organised by the tourism office, which give the visitor the opportunity to learn more about the city's history, discover hidden places and find the best Gluhwein -- or punch -- in town.
Situated at Lake Constance, St Gallen's name and origins can be traced back to the founding of the monastery by the wandering monk Gallus, who arrived from Ireland about 612 AD.
An imposing baroque cathedral watches over the town, which is situated in the heart of the stunning "Stift" district, which has been awarded World Cultural Heritage status, under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
St Gallen's Christmas market starts on December 5 and closes its stalls on December 23. Shops are open on Sundays on December 16 and 23 from 12.00 until 17.00.
Guided tours are available in different languages, including English, and are suitable for groups of up to 30 people.
Tours are given on Wednesdays (December 5, 12 and 19), Fridays (December 7, 14, 21) and on Monday, December 17.
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