St. Urban Tower is originally a Gothic prismatic campanile with a pyramidal roof. It was erected in the 14th century. A church bell installed in the tower has been dedicated to Saint Urban, the patron of vine-dressers. The bell was cast in a mould by the bell-founder Franciscus Illenfeld of Olomouc in 1557. Its weight is 7 tonnes.
In 1775 the pyramidal roof was constructed with annion in the Baroque style with an iron double cross. An archade passage was erected around the tower in 1912. There are 36 old gravestones (coming from the 14th and 15th centuries, one of these comes from the Roman Empire and dates back to the 4th century) bricked into the exterior walls of the St. Urban Tower.
In 1966 the tower was damaged by fire and the St. Urban Bell was destroyed as well. The reconstructed tower was reopened in 1971. The renovated bell was located in the front of the tower and a copy of the bell (made by employees of VSŽ Steel Works Košice in 1996) was installed in the campanile.
The East Slovak Museum set up an impressive exhibition of foundrywork in the tower after the reconstruction in 1977. It was removed in 1995. Today, there is a unique wax museum exhibition in the tower.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.