Switzerland · Travel

Soap Museum (Seifenmuseum), St. Gallen – a unique, offbeat attraction

A museum dedicated to soap…sounds rather strange…… These exactly were my thoughts when I first heard about the Seifenmuseum in St. Gallen.

While I decided to see all the conventional, ‘touristy’ sights in this beautiful Swiss city, my love for the unusual and offbeat drew me to the Soap Musuem.  Located in Grossackerstrasse St Gallen, the museum which has recently shifted here, is small but a treasure house of information on soaps, its history, soap manufactures, soap making and the like.

Inside Soap Museum, St.Gallen
Inside Soap Museum, St.Gallen

On display are a series of photographs, posters and old advertisements that trace the journey of soaps, their production and marketing over the years.  A haven for anyone like me who is a fan of anything that has heritage vibes.

Inside Soap Museum, St.Gallen
Inside Soap Museum, St.Gallen

The evolution of the whole concept of laundry is explained and there are yesteryear soap making machines, iron boxes, washing baskets and even a washing machine on display.

Inside Soap Museum, St.Gallen
Inside Soap Museum, St.Gallen
Inside Soap Museum, St.Gallen
Inside Soap Museum, St.Gallen

The musuem is the brain child of Vasco Hebel who has been collecting soaps as a 11 year old.  His passion for soap and soap-making led him to curate this museum which he runs with help of few other volunteers.  Hebel was gracious enough to give us a tour of the museum and explain about the various artefacts.

Vasco Lever of Soap Museum St.Gallen
Vasco Lever of Soap Museum St.Gallen

There is a separate section dedicated to workshops that he conducts for students and interested groups.  Here interested people can learn all about soap making and different kinds of soaps.

Inside Soap Museum St. Gallen
Inside Soap Museum St. Gallen

All in all a unique museum that has a wealth of information about something we normally perceive as ordinary!

Inside Soap Museum St. Gallen
Inside Soap Museum St. Gallen
Soaps on display inside Soap Museum St. Gallen
Soaps on display inside Soap Museum St. Gallen

St Gallen forms for a great day trip from Zurich and is truly an insightful place to visit.  The soap museum is located in the centre of the town.  To read about more unique museums in Switzerland click here and here.

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