added by archaeologs A remarkable Carolingian document, probably formulated after the Council of Inden in 816 and then sent by the Abbot of Reichenau to Abbot Gozbert of St Gall. The plan, drawn in ink on parchment, is an architect’s drawing for the rebuilding of the monastic complex. The layout is dominated by the large basilican abbey building with two circular western towers and adjoining cloister. The ancillary buildings are a closely nucleated group, labelled in great detail with instructions on underfloor heating, ventilation and drainage. Many of the domestic ranges and the infirmary would probably have been built in stone with smaller timber latrines and stables blocks. The whole complex has a very orderly appearance, with square courtyards and walkways separating the areas of different function. The St Gall Plan is a unique work epitomizing an ideal ‘modern’ Carolingian monastic unit, and although it was never fully realized at St Gall it remains an important source of reference for architectural historians and archaeologists.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983