Gruyères Castle

Gruyères, Switzerland

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.



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Founded: 1270-1282
Category: Castles and fortifications in Switzerland


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ahmad Karimi (8 months ago)
We enjoyed authentic Swiss fondue while taking in the views during our visit to Gruyères Castle. Take a short hike to this national heritage site and check out the museums, restaurants, and breathtaking landscapes. Definitely worth a visit.
Mark Newton (8 months ago)
A real medieval castle at the foot of the Swiss Alps. Self-guided tour, take as much or as little time as you like (we took about four hours). There’s an app, but we didn’t use it because it took too long to download its data when we launched it. Restoration works are ongoing, and the people doing the work are very forthcoming with historical perspective derived from their expertise.
Claudia Salas Lyman (11 months ago)
The castle is not that big but has beautiful views and it is also a museum. If you have the swiss travel pass is free. It is a bit of a hike but we'll worth it, I recommend it.
Robin explains! (13 months ago)
Parking is not free (at least wasn't when I was there). The castle is very well kept and really entertaining. The art exhibition is disappointing but easy to skip. The town just outside the castle is very nice as well. If you're into history and nice views I would recommend it. Not really accessible for handicapped people though.
George Roberts (16 months ago)
So worth taking a detour to visit. There is a lot of parking, although it looks like it gets really busy in the summer, so parking at the bottom of the hill and walking the 5 minutes up might be necessary. The place is absolutely stunning, with amazing restaurants (serving lots of cheese of course).
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