Pielpajärvi is the old centre of Inari. In former times, there was a winter village of Inari by the shore of this wilderness lake where people gathered to stay for the winter months. The church, built in the winter village in 1760, is one of the oldest buildings in northern Lapland. The reddish church stands on a stone field lined by a beautiful birch wood. A natural-state meadow now grows on the church grounds.
The wooden wilderness church of Pielpajärvi is the second church in this very spot. All the remains of the first church, which was completed in 1646, have disappeared, and only the decaying foundations of a few buildings are left from the winter village. The Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church and the nearby areas form a nationally valuable cultural heritage area. It has also been classified as a regionally valuable landscape area.
The Pielpajärvi Wilderness Church can be visited throughout the year. Information on directions is available on the Inari Hiking Area's webpages.
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.