The Plan of St. Gall is the earliest preserved and most extraordinary visualization of a building complex produced in the Middle Ages. Ever since the Plan was created at the monastery of Reichenau sometime in the period 819-26 A.D., it has been preserved in the Monastic Library of St. Gall (Switzerland).
Drawn and annotated on five pieces of parchment sewn together the St. Gall Plan is 112 cm x 77.5 cm and includes the ground plans of some forty structures as well as gardens, fences, walls, a road, and an orchard. The buildings are clearly identified by 333 inscriptions. Of course, primary among the buildings is a church with its scriptorium, sacristy, lodgings for visiting monks, and reception rooms. There is also a monastic dormitory, privy, laundry, refectory, kitchen, bake and brew house, guest house, abbot’s residence, and an infirmary Finally, there are numerous buildings associated with the specialized economic operations of a complex community of over 110 monks and some 150 servants and workers.
Several scholars have created a two-dimensional rendering of their conceptualization of a monastery that might have been built from the Plan.
A facsimile copy of the oldest Gothic Bible, the Codex Argenteus, created in the 6th century, went on display in the Archaeology Museum in Sofia on Friday.
The original gothic translation is believed to have been carried out in the 4th century out in the lands that are now part of Bulgaria, so it is only proper that Bulgaria has a copy of the manuscript, Sweden’s ambassador to Bulgaria, Bertil Roth said.
The facsimile is the centrepiece of an exhibition that also features the biggest archaeological finds dating back to the period when Goths inhabited the current territory of Bulgaria.
The exhibition opened its doors on Friday, with long-time Codex Argenteus researcher Lars Munkhammar from Uppsala University and Rasho Rashev, the head of Bulgaria’s National Archaeological Institute, in attendance.
The Codex Argenteus, which translates as the “Silver Bible” from Latin, is a world-famous manuscript, written in silver and gold letters on purple vellum in Ravenna about 520.
It contains fragments of the four gospels in the fourth-century Gothic version of Bishop Wulfila, but only 188 of the original 336 leaves remain.