St. Gallen
St. Gallen

St. Gallen


Green foothills of the Alps, dark fir forests, deep ravines and imposing rock towers above Lake Constance characterize the Appenzellerland.

During the entire journey along the north bank, the view repeatedly falls over the lake to the mountains in the south. It goes without saying that committed cyclists sometimes want to take at least a short detour into the mountains near the lake.

Thanks to the cog railway from Rheineck to Walzenhausen, most of the ascent can be comfortably overcome without using muscle power. Once up, the ascent and descent through the green Appenzell pre-Alpine landscape to the World Heritage City of St. Gallen is pure joy.

St. Gallen

The canton's capital and textile city spreads out around the fantastic abbey district.

With around 70,000 inhabitants, it is the third largest city in the Lake Constance region and, with its location at around 700 meters above sea level, it is also one of the highest cities in Europe.

The nucleus of the city lies around the monastery district with the massive double-towered collegiate church. The beginnings of the settlement go back to the Irish wandering monk St. Gallus, who built a hermitage in 612 on the Steinach tributary to Lake Constance.

After his death around 640 in Arbon, the hermitage named after him quickly developed into a place of pilgrimage, in the place of which a hundred years after his death Otmar von St. Gallen founded the forerunner of today's abbey.

Showpieces of the abbey district, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are the twin-towered collegiate church of St. Gallus and Othmar with its splendid stucco work and the abbey library. The abbey's book room is considered to be one of the most outstanding of its kind.

Artfully decorated, it is also regarded as the most beautiful non-ecclesiastical baroque room in Switzerland. It was set up under Prince Abbot Cölestin Gugger von Staudach, who also had the late Baroque collegiate church built almost at the same time.

Culture is very important in St. Gallen. Operas, operettas, ballet, musicals and plays are performed in the theater, a puppet theater shows plays for children and adults and the finest cabaret is performed in the basement stage. Numerous museums complement the offer for those thirsty for knowledge. The art museum and art gallery show national and international works of art of world renown and of course a textile museum should not be missing.

Bicycle path

Those who have the pride ignore the cogwheel railway at Rheineck train station and wind their way up to the traditional health resort of Walzenhausen. But be careful, the 300 m difference in altitude is really exhausting!

From the train station you drive through one of the alleys into the pretty old town of Rheineck along the main street. The "Spitze Gasse", which is little more than a slip-through, is particularly narrow.

Turn south on the main road and drive a good 250 meters in an S-curve to the intersection with Appenzeller Straße. Turn right into this and drive out of the town on the accompanying footpath and bike path.

After one kilometer, road signs point left to Walzenhausen. This is where the ascent actually begins.

Over Brenden and Allmendsberg you gradually crank up to the lookout box of Walzenhausen, which is located like an eagle's nest above the lake.
The Swiss cycle route 42, the Appenzeller Route, leaves Walzenhausen on the road in the direction of Wolfshalden, curves through a deep ravine and finally turns left into the hamlet of Sonder.

Another 100 meters of altitude must be conquered, then the "first summit" of the route is reached at 781 meters.

It goes in a rushing ride down into the valley of the Klusbach and with a short ascent to Wolfshalden. At the church turn left into the main street and go up to Heiden.

From Heidener Kirchplatz you drive through Poststrasse, Werdstrasse and Schützengasse and past the mineral spa Unterrechstein in the direction of Rehetobel.

Once again you have to pedal properly before the second and highest peak of the route is reached at the pass crossing at a height of 967 meters. Now you need good brakes, because it goes downhill for a long way.

After passing through Rehetobel, it goes over Lobenschwendi in numerous curves down into the deeply cut valley of the Goldach and beyond the valley floor with a counter climb to Speichererschwendi.

You can quickly reach the outskirts of the St. Fiden district of St. Gallen on Rehetobelstraße. Along Rorschacher Straße (B7) it is just under 2 kilometers to the historic old town of St. Gallen.