Burg Stolpen is a castle built on top of the Schloßberg. The first defensive works were built about 1100 and it was first documented in 1222. Owned by the Bishop of Meißen for nearly 350 years, it passed to the Electorate of Saxony and was expanded in Renaissance style. By being converted into a fortress in 1675, Stolpen received increased military importance. After the end of the Augustinian Age in 1763, the garrison was dissolved. Two years later, Stolpen’s most famous captive, Countess Cosel, died at the fortress, aged almost 85. The most well-known mistress to Saxon Elector and Polish King Augustus the Strong had spent 49 years of her life at Stolpen against her will. Her burial place is located inside the Stolpen Castle Chapel.
The castle fell into disrepair towards the end of the 18th century. It became a museum in 1875, and has been partly restored since then. An average of approximately 100,000 visitors a year come and see Stolpen Castle today. Apart from the daily museum operation, an extensive program of events invigorates the castle. The historic Granary with its original wooden-beam architecture as well as the unique flair of the castle yards make each event a grand experience.
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.