Ruth's Church (Ruts Kirke) was built in the early 13th century in the Romanesque style. Situated on a hilltop 130 m above sea level, it is the island's highest-standing church. The oldest reference to the church dates from 1490 where Sancti Michelssogen (St Michael's Parish) is mentioned. The church was initially consecrated as St Michael's, possibly because of its high location. By 1621, the name had become Ruth's Church after Ruth the Moabite in the Old Testament.
The church was probably built first with a nave and chancel. The tower at the west end and the porch on the south side were added later. The chancel and the finely rounded apsis are part of the original structure. At the end of the 19th century, the north wing was added. The old tower and porch were removed a little later, the nave was lengthened by some 3 metres and a new tower was built.
Constructed in the second half of the 16th century, the bell tower in the churchyard is said to be the oldest on the island. It has not, however, been used since 1886 when the bells were transferred to the new tower at the west end of the church.
In 1908, frescoes were discovered in the late Gothic apsis vaults. Depicting the signs of the evangelists, they were restored in 1930. Next to the fresco of Matthew, the date 1559 can be seen. Also of interest is the granite Romanesque font which is almost cylindrical in shape.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.