Do you know what the city of St.Gallen is famous for? Not only for their beautiful fabrics, the Open Air, the famous «Bratwurst», the beautiful Abbey Library or the Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site. There are also these 111 beautifully preserved oriel windows! They are not only impressively ornate, but also have imaginative names, such as the Camel or Pelican.
In the old town are over a hundred oriel windows to discover. They were created between the end of the Middle Ages until very recently and document different forms and facets of history.
What is an Oriel?
An oriel window is a set of windows, arranged together in a bay, that protrudes from the face of a building on an upper floor and is braced underneath by a bracket or corbel. An Oriel window projects from the side of a building but doesn’t touch the ground and are supported by the wooden «L» shaped supporting brackets called «the corbels». In St. Gallen corbels have carved and painted facades.
Most people call them «bay windows» when located on the first floor and «oriel windows» only if they are on an upper floor. Functionally, oriel windows not only increase the light and air entering a room, but also expand the floor space without changing the building’s foundation dimensions. Aesthetically, oriel windows became a landmark detail for Victorian-era architecture, although they are present in structures earlier than the 19th century. (Written by Jackie Craven, Website/Blogpost)
Oriels formed a characteristic element of the building of the upper classes. They developed out of the late medieval castle architecture, underlined the noble claim of the commercial families and served with the splendid design for the demonstration of the wealth. It even happened that one poked out his tongue at the neighbor in such decoration, following the motto: «I have something that you don’t have».
Oriels I like
Here I tell you some informations about the oriels which I like the most.
Which Oriel do you like the most?
How many did you count? Did you see something special? What do you like the most in St.Gallen? Let me know if you have any questions or comments.