The clock is running slower here and still, two hours pass quickly. On Campus Galli there is a lot to see. Stroll along the loop road and watch our craftsmen work in their workshops or in the fields. In the centre of our site you find the wooden church and the cross-cutting and trenching place. Gradually, more and more buildings will be added according to the St. Gall Plan. There is always something new to see. No visit is like the other!
Click on the symbols in the plan to find a more detailed description of the building’s functions and virtually explore our site.
The bee pasture was seeded in 2013 between the entrance area and the fields. It consists of a mixture of 60% cultivated plants and 40% wild plants.
Small store built up of six posts for storing crops and seeds. The posts had been blackened with soot in the fire so the wood doesn’t rot as quickly once put into the ground. Remains of such types of stores were found i.e. in Warendorf. The roof is thatched with straw form our own fields.
Farming was an essential part of monastic life in the Middle Ages. A monastery also received duties from tributary farms (“Hufen”). On one hectare of farmland we plant the same crops in a three-field system that would have fed the people in the Early Middle Ages.
Although the Rule of St. Benedict prohibits the consumption of meat from four-legged animals, swine stables are listed in the St. Gall Plan. Illustrations from the Early Middle Ages show long-haired and long-legged pigs. Our pigs are a corresponding back breed called “Düppeler Weideschwein”.
The wool processed on Campus Galli is from local sheep. It is cleaned, combed and spun directly on site. The yarn is processed to caps, socks or gloves by nålebinding, a fabric creation technique predating both knitting and crochet, or woven to wool cloth on a warp-weighted loom. The manufacturing of clothing involved great effort in the Middle Ages. Fabrics and drapery were trading goods high in demand.
The hermitage was built on the occasion of the 1400-Year-Anniversary of Saint Gall in St. Gall. It was built based on archeological and historical findings. Its aim is to demonstrate how a hermit settlement, like the one Saint Gall and his followers inhabited in the Arbon forest, could have looked like. This hermit settlement is the origin of the monastery and later the town of St. Gall. After the anniversary had ended the hermitage was given to the Campus Galli.
The potter produces cans, jars and other vessels for drinking and storing for our staff members. He uses clay found directly on our site. The firing of the ceramics happens in the kiln next to his workshop or in a pit fire.
In his pit house the blacksmith repairs and forges tools and fittings for the construction site. A major part of our tools can be built on site, but sometimes tools that are hand-forged are also bought in addition. The semi-darkness of his workshop helps the blacksmith evaluating the colour and thereby the temperature of the glowing workpiece quite well.
The basket maker produces baskets out of willows. They are used for transporting and storing wool, rubble, loam etc. From time to time the basket maker can also be found all over the construction site building walls or fences.
Provosional henhouse that will be replaced by the round henhouse listed in the St. Gall Plan in the future. By day the cock and his hens roam the construction site in search of food. Overnight they get caged in the henhouse. In terms of colouring they resemble the chickens of the early Middle Ages.
Our wool is dyed naturally by dyeing plants such as stinging nettles, yellow chamomile (also dyer’s chamomile), hazelnut etc. They are found or planted on the construction site and were available in the Early Middle Ages.
The herb garden contains herbs that have medicinal effects. They are all listed in the St. Gall Plan. The benedictine monk Walahfrid Strabo from the Reichenau Island wrote a didactic poem about medicinal plants („Hortulus“) around the time of the making of the Plan. His list of herbs mostly matches the list of the St. Gall Plan. The physician’s house (domus medicorum) will be built next to the herb garden in the future.
The hedge bank consists of two trenches that are 50 cm in depth and a bank that is 1 m in height with deadwood on top. The construction method is comparable to defensive dykes from earlier times. They are also mentioned in the Capitularies of the Carolingian period.
The Campus Galli offers museum educational programmes for school classes which take place here. The site contains a clay oven and a cooking place so that lunch can be prepared directly on site for and by the children.
Building site of the wooden church – area ecclesiae ligneae aedificandae
The constuction works began in the beginning of the 2014 season. By now, the roof and the side walls have been finished. The interior is still being built. The wooden church is the biggest building on site at the moment.
Although no apiculture is mentioned in the St. Gall Plan, bees were important for producing candle wax and honey for sweetening food. Our wooden beehives are inhabitated by the peaceful bee “Kärntner Biene” (Carnica).
Sheep and goats
Sheep and goats provided the monks with e.g. milk, wool and parchment (the animal’s skin). On Campus Galli they keep weeds and brushwood at bay.
The shingle maker splits the shingle out of wood. Hrabanus Maurus wrote: Scindulae eo quod scindantur, id est, dividantur (“They are called shingles because they are split viz. cut off“). The word shingle stems from the latin word „scindula“. At Campus Galli spruce wood is used for making the shingles. It lasts more than 25 years. In the Middle Ages other sorts of wood such as oak was used, too. At the time shingles were also duties to monasteries. The roof on the shingle makers workshop on Campus Galli consists of 1500 shingles.
Caroligian illuminations often show furniture with similar forms like the ones from the merovingian period which i.a. had been found in graves in Oberflacht. The wood turner of Campus Galli makes bowls, tools handles and chair legs out of fresh wood on his woodturning lathe.
It is the central square where visitors can purchase food and beverages. It looks out on the wooden church and the cross-cutting and trenching place and offers modern toilets and markets stalls for buying souvenirs.
Cross-cutting and trenching place
The wood craftsmen hew beams from round logs with their axes and mortise timber joints. Hrabanus Maurus: Trabes autem sunt, cum sunt dolatae(„Beams you call them, if they were hewn by axes“).
The stonemason crushes and carves the stones so they can be used for walls and fundaments. Our local limestone is not suitable for reliefs and more delicate works because it breaks unevenly and can be too porous. The altar plate of the wooden church was made of sandstone.
Cemetery & Orchard (under construction)
The wall around the orchard was started in 2015 during a meeting of stonemason journeymen. It also serves as a cemetery according to the St. Gall Plan. It is to be finished in 2017.
Vegetable garden (under construction)
The vegetable garden is to be built in 2017 next to the orchard in the place assigned by the St. Gall Plan. During the first seasons of running Campus Galli it was temporarily placed next to the fields. According to the Plan it will contain different sorts of vegetables and aromatic herbs planted on 18 patches.
The rope is made by hand without specific tools. Everything that has long fibres serves as raw material: bast, stinging-nettles, thistles or even hair. We mostly use bast.
Season is from 1st April to 5th November
Opening hoursSeason is from 1st April to 5th November
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Monday: Closed (except public holidays)
- Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Thursday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Information & Booking EnquiriesTel. +49 / 7575 / 206-47
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- October – April:
Monday – Wednesday: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
- May – September:
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
- Students from 16 years of age, severely disabled persons with pass, members of “Freundeskreis Campus Galli”, Meßkirch residents, other discounts
- Children under 16 years of age
- Children under 6 years of age
- Families with own children (6-15 years of age)
- Last minute ticket after 4 p.m.
- You can bring your dog, but for safety reasons (oxen!) keep it on a leash at all times. Please dispose of dog dirt in a plastic bag in our rubbish bins.
- Children under 16 years of age
- Families with own children (6-15 years of age)
Groups (min. 12 persons)
- Children/ Students
€ 3in addition to entrance fee*
- *per person in addition to entrance fee. (for 12 persons and more)
- groups up to 11 persons (in addition to entrance fee)
See our menu
Food and beverages are available for purchase on the market place. Watch the craftsmen turn a simple log into a beam for the next building while you sip on a nice cup of mead and enjoy a tarte flambee.
The Campus Galli is situated in the south of Baden-Württembergs, approximately an hours drive away from Friedrichshafen by Lake Constance.
- Hackenberg 92, 88605 Meßkirch
- GPS-coordinates: 48.033°N, 9.109°E
- Parking available in front of the entrance
- Bus lines: 102 (from 1st April on saturdays and sundays) and 642 (from 1st April on working days)