Mesagne Castle probably dates back to the 11th century, but the royal fortress we see today was designed and built by renowned military leader Giovanni Antonio Orsini del Balzo in 1430. Since then, alterations have been made but there are traces of its use as a fortress.
The castle consists of two main parts: the oldest one is the quadrangular tower which has three floors, the other includes the rooms on the ground and first floor, connected to the tower through a rectangular room with barrel vaults. In the internal courtyard one can admire the portals with bossage and round arches, which lead to the roof garden.
Today Mesagne castle includes an archaeological museum and events auditorium.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.