The town of St.Blasien is situated in southern Germany, close to both the borders of Switzerland and France. Big cities such as Zurich or Basel in Switzerland and Freiburg in Germany are just at about an hour drive away. St. Blasien lies in a valley, surrounded by dense coniferous woods that are typical to the region of the Black Forest. At the foot of the Feldberg Mountain, a popular holiday and ski resort, St. Blasien is at around 700m above sea level.
The town was founded around the famous St.Blasise’s Abbey of the Black Forest with the former Benedictine monastery surrounding it.
St.Blasien is a charming, welcoming and peaceful town. As a visitor, one will see the famous buildings in the town, namely: the Cathedral (with the third biggest dome in Europe) and Kolleg St. Blasien, a Jesuit school with boarding in the former Benedictine monastery.
One will surely notice the charisma of this historical town with its Christian background, when one takes a stroll through the streets or goes to visit the cathedral.
In St.Blasien one often hears the most diverse of foreign languages, due mainly to those students who come to learn German, from all over the world, staying in the boarding house of the above-mentioned school. In the vicinity of St.Blasien one can also find several quite well known hospitals.
Traditionally the highlands of the Black Forest were an attractive and loved region in Europe for sanatorium and resort purposes. Most of the inhabitants of the area worked therefore in either teaching or medical fields.
As is typical in small towns, St. Blasien leads a quiet and solemn life. This town may be characterized as a sophisticated and elegant corner of the Black Forest due to buildings such as the abbey; it is one of historical and cultural importance for Europe.
This very small town - with less than 4000 inhabitants – has a pretty active cultural and intellectual program all year round. Classical music concerts, regularly set throughout the year in the concert halls or in the abbey itself, are well known to music lovers who flock to this town from afar. Another well-known event is the international sculptor symposium that is traditionally held at the end of the summer. Master craftsmen come to St. Blasien to compete and to show their work process to the public– sometimes even from other continents.
The town of St. Blasien, as well as the surrounding villages, is a loved tourist destination. Throughout the week, but especially on the weekends, St.Blasien is visited by a variety of different people. Bikers, vintage car collectors and groups of pilgrims from Germany, France and Switzerland visit the town, as well as recuperation- seekers, who want to spend their time in the multitude of spa and wellness hotels located in the vicinity.
Collectors of retro-cars or otherwise known as “oldies” organize group rallies, with St.Blasien as their destination. Travellers on buses, such as pilgrims from France, Germany or Switzerland come to visit the abbey. Furthermore, people on holiday looking to spend their time peacefully and healthily might take a walk through the natural park, staying at one of the many well-prepared hotels of the region. As it was traditionally, one may want to relax in one of the many sanatorium and recreational procedures, or as is more popular today spas, offered in this region.
All this, gives St.Blasien an international and lively flair, making it the ideal location for our cultural project, the PANINA ART GALLERY.