Bernegg Castle was built in the mid to late 13th century for the Freiherr von Calfreisen, though it was probably called Calfreisen Castle until the 15th century. A mention of Otto von Calfreisen in 1231 indicates that the family lived in the area before the castle was built. They may have lived in an earlier castle which was replaced in the mid 13th century or in the village. In 1259 and again in 1286 the Freiherr was mentioned in the castle. After the extinction of the Calfreisen family in the 14th century, the castle was acquired by the Unterwegen family. Hans von Underwegen was mentioned at the castle in 1386, though they may have acquired it earlier. In 1428 it was acquired by the Sprecher family, who changed the name to Bernegg. The castle then vanishes from the historical record until the mid 16th century when it was described as a ruin.
The castle ruin is located on a hill south of Calfreisen village. The palas is a rectangular building about 11 by 13 meters and four stories tall. The walls are 2.4–2 m thick at the base, tapering to 1.8 m on the upper levels. The ground floor probably served as the castle's cellar. The second story has several small arrow slits in the walls. One of the arrow slits on the south wall was expanded into a door way which now serves as the entrance into the castle. The original high entrance on the third story south wall is still intact. The remains of a brick oven can be seen on the fourth story.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.