Ulnes Church is a stone church built around 1265, and was first time mentioned in documents in 1307. The choir comprises a very old baptismal font cover. A female figure from the 13th or 14th century is displayed in a glass case in the entrance hall. This is one half of a figure illustrating the meeting between Mary and Elisabeth. The church used to have an altar front from the period 1325-1350, showing St. Margareth, St. Peter, St. Paul and St. Sunniva. The baptismal angels (fonts) date back to 1793 and 1873, and the most recent one was made by Ole Fladager from Ulnes, Norway`s most renowned sculptor during the 1800s.
Wall paintings in the choir and over the choir arch are from the 1790s. Among them are illustrations sucha as Jesus with three of his disciples and Zacchaeus in the mulberry tree. Ulnes church is the only one in Norway featuring an illustration of the Zacchaeus story. The altarpiece from 1850 has its own special history. By means of a pull-string, the Three Holy Kings can revolve around Maria and the child. This is the onlye altarpiece in Norway with a feature of this kind.
During the 1840s, two brothers from Ulnes wanted to go to America. One of them was a woodcarver and the other one was a painter. Their ship went down during a North Sea storm, and in their prayers they promised God that if they survived they would go home and donate a beautiful gift to their church. The lifeboat was washed ashore in the Netherlands, and from there they went to Germany where they spent three years as apprentices to master craftsmen while also studying altarpieces. Then they went home and created the altarpiece. Later on they left for America, and arrived safely.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.