The tenth and last full day of our vacation was spent in the small medieval town and castle of Gruyeres.

castle of Gruyeres

The silhouette of the fortress dominates the landscape and is visible from many kilometers away. It was built by the counts of Gruyeres who owned it from the 10th to the 16th century, to be then taken over by the city of Fribourg. The tourists need to park the car down the hill and then perform the steep climb by feet.

on the streets of the medieval town

After crossing the gate we were welcome by the streets of the medieval town. They are charming and picturesque but very commercialized.

entrance to H R Giger Museum

One of my principal objectives was a visit to the H.R. Giger Museum. I am a big fan of the works and world of the artist – and the museum offers an interesting gathering of paintings, sculptures, sketches and reproductions of sets he created for many science-fiction films.

a coffee at H R Giger

Unfortunately taking pictures is not possible in the museum, the only place which could be photographed was the bar near the museum also created by Giger.

glasswork in the castle

Our visit continued in the fortress itself (the Giger Museum occupies space which belong to the annexes of the castle).

Corot's room

The castle was acquired in 1848 by two rich families from Geneva, the Bovys and the Ballands, who restaured and decorated the castle in a mix of styles that combined some of the existing historical elements and other according to the tastes of the Swiss haute bourgeoisie in the second half of the 19th century. A room decorated with paintings by Corot is one example of the latest.

tapestry in the castle

Flemish tapestries are among the most interesting objects related to the older periods of the history of the castle.

the art gallery

Taken back into custody by the cantonal government of Fribourg in 1938 the castle hosts nowadays a variety of cultural events, concerts and exhibitions. An art gallery is part of the castle and can be visited together with the other sections of the building.

lake Gruyere seen from the fortress

Climbing up to the highest towers offers a beautiful view of the region. Here is a view towards North with the Gruyeres lake. The medieval town and the fortress are located at the Southern extremity of the lake.

the garden of the castle

A splendid garden can also be viewed best from the towers.

Giger - A la conquete de la Toison d'Or

Some of the works in the gallery are dedicated or inspired by the place. For example the painting above by Giger himself.

tower gallery

Here is a spectacular staircase in one of the towers, with paintings on the walls. It also seems inspired or maybe has inspired one of Giger’s labyrinths.

Lancelot beer

At lunch time the town can be quite crowded, especially on a busy day blessed with beautiful weather and finding a place to eat was not easy. We were lucky to discover the Hostellerie St-Georges and its creperie bretonne which was quite interesting. We also discovered an unexpectedly good French beer named Lancelot.

waving the flag

Back in the streets we saw some acrobatic numbers using … the Swiss flag.

one last view to the castle

We last saluted the flag on our way down from the castle.