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

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User Reviews

Svetlomir Damyanov (2 years ago)
Do not miss this place in Gruyeres.
Daniel K. Schneider (2 years ago)
All together it's a fairy tale kind of scenery if the weather is nice. The castle itself is also nice to visit. It has 19th century paintings within medical walls. The little town is ok if you do near fear tourist crowds. Visit the h.r. Higher museum for some contrast (but without your children).
Yaye Ba (2 years ago)
Authentic medieval castle with 1800s remodeling (visit for a family of 4 with 3 and 6 years old = 25chf) . Perhaps would be worth getting an audio guide for the visit and a bit more details on how the Inhabitants lived in various eras of the castle's history. Lovely strolle through the tiny médiéval village, several very nice restaurant options with terraces and gorgeous views over the dramatic mountain landscape Totally worth a day trip from Geneva if also visiting the Cailler House which provides for a nice informative visit with special visual and olfactive effects!
Alex Haas (2 years ago)
Ok, we didn't go inside the castle (was closed at that time due to some sneaky virus that took over the world). But we were surprised to learn that most of the grounds in and around the castle were open and free to roam around. You can walk around the gardens, get up to the walls, walk around the castle itself (except for a small section). The castle itself is well preserved and well taken care of. The views are amazing with the mountains and countryside in the back. And the track around the castle is a nice little stroll. Lots of photo ops, some benches to take a break underneath a tree. It's a fantastic castle in a charming old town. Either you go inside or not, this is a place not to be missed.
Marc Steigerwald (2 years ago)
Beautiful small town located amids a dramatic landscape. Really worth a stop to take a stroll and enjoy a delicious cheese fondue.
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