The Cistercian Osek monastery was founded in 1191. It was invaded by armies, plundered by the Branibors, and burnt down by the Hussites. In the 15th century it was damaged, the monks were murdered and the property was taken away. Rudolf II abolished it in 1580, however, the Pope invalidated this decision. The manor was confiscated during the Thirty Years War, but the monastery was given back to the Cistercians later. Its fame culminated in the 18th century when it was reconstructed in the Baroque style. The monastery was damaged again by bombing at the end of the Second World War.
German Cistercians were expelled after 1945 and in 1950 the government established an internment camp here for monks and priests who were transported to prisons and uranium mines for forced work. Later it became a charity home for nuns. Cistercians got the monastery back after 1989.
Today the monastery is a cultural and tourist centre offering a look into the history from the Romanesque period through the Gothic style to Baroque and provides unrepeatable cultural experiences in a fairy-tale environment.
Its dominant feature is the large monastery Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is an originally Romanesque three-nave basilica that was reconstructed in the Baroque style. Due to its length of 76 metres it belongs to the largest religious constructions in Bohemia. The most valuable part of the old monastery is an early Gothic capitular hall with a stone reading pulpit.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.