Saint Gall, former Benedictine abbey, at St. Gall, Switzerland. Originating in a cell built c.614 by St. Gall, an Irish missionary (see Columban, Saint), it became an abbey under Charles Martel (8th cent.). It gained large landholdings and acquired universal fame as a center of learning in the early Middle Ages. In its library invaluable classic manuscripts were copied and preserved. Among the teachers were Notker Balbulus, Notker Labeo, and four monks named Ekkehard. The abbey was secularized in 1798. The present buildings date mainly from the 18th cent.