Veleia was a Roman town in Hispania. It was an important station on the Roman road ab Asturica Burdigalam that ran parallel to the coast of the Bay of Biscay. At its apogee, the city could have been inhabited by some five to ten thousand people, and apparently went through different cycles of prosperity and decline into the Early Middle Ages until it was finally abandoned.
The archaeological site of Iruña-Veleia is the most important from the Roman period in the Basque Country. It was alleged to contain the oldest known texts written in the Basque language as well as, allegedly, the oldest representation of the crucifixion of Jesus found to date, but later it was said that the findings were forgeries. Other authors favored their genuinely ancient provenance, in agreement with the stratigraphic dating performed by the archaeologists who made the discoveries.
The town was founded in the 8th century BC, in the Late Bronze Age. The houses from this period, rectangular and round with adobe walls and thatched roofs, are similar to those found at the nearby site of Atxa (Vitoria).
In the first half of the 1st century some of these houses were replaced by others of Roman style (domus). This architectural romanization continued as the century advanced.
The late Roman city (3rd and 4th centuries) is better known. It shows signs of decay and the construction of a wall that encloses an eleven hectare area. The town survived into the 5th century after Roman power had disappeared from the region, but by the end of the century only burial plots in abandoned buildings are found.
There was an abbey at the site at least since the 16th century whose buildings remained visible until the mid 19th century.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.