Starigrad Fortress was built during the Croatian–Ottoman wars (15th century) as a primary defence against the Ottoman Empire. The precipitous fortification is sited on a 262 m ridge above the town Omiš. In the event of attack, its purpose was to provide refuge for local people and be a stronghold where they could retreat to and resist the Turks.
As the stone fort's defensive strength is derived from the elevation at which it was built, it is a rudimentary defensive structure. A two-storey square tower stands at its highest point, serving as both a lookout post and keep. A simple bastion stands at the opposite end of the fort to cover the approach path and the ridge line. It has an outer barbican to defend the fort's narrow entrance gateway and the gorge below the fort. The walls, which are about 1 m thick, are made from locally quarried limestone. They enclose an inner bailey that is separated into two distinct levels by the difference in the site's natural rock height. Access between the levels is via a small stone stairway that was once protected by a stone wall and gateway. In event of attack, the fortification's design permits the defenders to fall back to higher ground as each level falls.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.