The Castello di Montesegaleis a rural hilltop medieval fortress. It was originally built in the 14th century but over the next centuries was destroyed and rebuilt. An earlier 11th-century tower may have existed at the site.
Documents from 1164 indicate that Emperor Federico Barbarossa conceded a castle or fortress at Montesegale to Pavia. The property was owned by the Count Gambarana by 1311, who became the lord of Montesegale. In 1415, in retribution for a rebellion against Filippo Maria Visconti, his general Carmagnola captured and destroyed the castle. Count Guido Gambarana was captured, tortured, and executed. In 1451, Palatine Count Ottino Gambarana, the son of Guido, obtained from Duke Francesco Sforza restoration of his feudal inheritance. The position of the counts of Montesegale was confirmed by Emperor Charles V in 1525. The property passed on the Giussani family in 19th century, and then to the Jannuzzelli family.
The castle has outer walls and an inner walled keep. The interior walls were restored in 1900 by Agostino Gambarotta. The portal to the inner courtyard has a Latin epigraph that reads Fiat pax in virtute tua et habondantia in turribus tuis ('May there be peace in your strength and prosperity within your towers'). The castle portico has heraldic shields of the Gambarana family.
In 1975, the castle became the site of the local museum of contemporary art.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.