Built in 1689 for the people of central Lapland, the old timber church in Sodankylä is one of the wooden churches to survive in Lapland and one of the oldest in Finland. Following the completion of the new stone church, the old church was decommissioned in 1859. In terms of style, the church is a sample of Finnish medieval ecclesiastic architecture and Ostrobothnian wooden church designs. The church was restored in 1926 and the shingled roof and external cladding repaired during 1992-95 by the National Board on Antiquities. The church is unique in having preserved its original design and atmosphere throughout centuries.
Prayer meetings are held in the church in summer, and it is a specially popular venue for weddings.
Reference: Sodankylä Municipality
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.