Château de Boutavent may have been built in the 11th century, but there is no written evidence of exact date. It has been confirmed that during the 13th and 14th century, the castle belonged to the Lords of Montfort. According a legend during the 7th century the castle was the residence of Judicaël, King of Domnonée, and that it had been the place where the King and saint Éloi met. This last was sent to bring peace in a fight for borders between Bretons and French.
The castle is structured into two classical elements: a courtyard and a barnyard, separated by a deep gap. Four buildings which could be guesthouses, are on both sides of the barnyard. The fortification and elements of the barnyard can still be seen.
In the 16th century, the castle was already ruined. The circumstances of the destruction of the fortified site of Boutavent remain mysterious. Maybe it has been dismantled during the War of succession (second half of the 14th century) or in 1373, during the campaign of Bertrand du Guesclin in Brittany, but nothing proves that the castle hasn't been inhabited then.
Many local authors of the 19th century wrote about Boutavent, in particular writers like Poignand, Vigoland or Oresve. Even though these stories constitute rare stories about the site, it is impossible to retrace the entire history of the castle, as there are only a few sources.
The castle has not been searched yet but many campaigns of consolidation of the relics took place since 2006. During these campaigns, archaeological material has been found (slate, ceramic, ground pavement and glazed tiles).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.