St. Gallen

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St. Gallen is a city in the eastern part of Switzerland. It is near Lake Constance. St. Gallen is the capital of th canton of St. Gallen. The city was founded as a monastery by the Irish monk Gallus in the 7th century. In the Middle Ages a city grew around the monastery. The role of the monastery (and the city) was very important in the Middle Ages. One of the three remaining manuscripts of the Nibelungenlied are from the monastery of St.Gallen. Today, the monastery, with its library, and parts of the old town are classed as an UNESCO World Heritage site.

The city is about 675 meters above sea level and is in a part of Switzerland with many hills. As of 2004, about 70.000 people lived in the city. The urban area has about 100.000 to 120.000 people.

In the 18th and 19th century the city became known for its embroideries, which are still very well-known. Every four years, there is the St.Galler Kinderfest (Children's festival). This is a large representation of the primary (and some secondary) schools in the city. It's usually in early summer.

The city also has an university, which is known for its courses in economics, and (to a lesser extent), law.

In Switzerland, the city is also known for St.Galler Bratwurst, and a fair centered around agriculture, held once a year, in autumn. That fair is called OLMA (Ostschweizerische Land- und Milchwirtschaftsausstellung, roughly translates to Exhibition of agriculture and milk economics of eastern Switzerland).

In early summer there is also an open-air rock festival. Its called Open-Air St.Gallen, and held in a valley, near the river. Since the weather is not always as good, in many years it's a battle with the mud.

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