Without a forecourt or towers and somewhat hidden away in the Old Town, the true magnificence of the Baroque Asam Church Maria de Victoria lies in its stunning interior. Two exceptionally valuable artistic treasures adorn this architectural gem, which was built between 1732 and 1736 as the oratory of the Marian student congregation.
The Incarnation of the Lord is the subject of the phenomenal ceiling fresco that was painted by Cosmas Damian Asam, the most well-known Bavarian artist of the Baroque era, at the height of his creativity. This perspectival masterpiece, which is the largest flat ceiling fresco in the world and measures 42 metres by 16 metres, can be best appreciated by walking around beneath it. Another valuable artefact is the Lepanto Monstrance, which was completed in 1708 and stands in the treasure chamber.
This filigree work of art, set in gold and silver, represents the Christians' victory over the Turks in the sea battle of Lepanto - the unique portrayal of a combat on the world's most valuable monstrance.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.