Castle of Gruyères
Gruyères, FR show Website
Discover a magical place full of stories and traditions and let it inspire you to go on an adventure! The more adventurous visitors may climb the fortified walls and explore the knight's hall, whilst those who prefer a more tranquil experience might visit the living quarters that have been restored in the style of the romantic period and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the French gardens..
Due to its unique architecture, its historical collections and special exhibitions covering topics from the Middle Ages to modern times, a visit to Gruyères Castle is a unique experience in time travel.
800 years of history
The foundations of today's castle complex, ancestral home to the Dukes of Gruyères, date back to the years around 1270. Towards the end of the 15th century the old fortress was rebuilt into a representative seat of power for the dynasty. Michel, the last of the Gruyères dukes went bankrupt in 1554 having tried but failed to implement his own system of currency. He died shortly after that whilst still in exile.
Between 1555 and 1848 bailiffs from Fribourg resided in the castle and embellished it in the Baroque style. After 1849, under the ownership of the families Bovy and Balland from Geneva, the castle flourished. Especially due to the sponsorship of an artists' colony by the castle's lord Daniel Bovy, Gruyères became a cultural centre in the region. Painters such as Camille Corot, Berthélémy Menn and others were inspired by the natural beauty of the countryside surrounding the castle, recreating it in many historical scenes and romantic landscapes on the castle's walls. After the private owners of the castle ran into financial difficulties, the authorities of Canton Fribourg bought the property and converted it into a museum.
A magical multimedia exhibition
A visit to the castle begins with a fascinating film that lifts the veil of time and introduces the visitors to the castle's storied past. The infamous court jester to count Peter IV, Chalamala, entertains his guests with legends and gossip from the past number of centuries in eight languages and offers a unique insight into the castle's history.
Encouraged by the Bovy family, the castle still maintains strong ties to the arts. The museum's special exhibitions display works by a wide range of artists, focusing on contemporary art and thus creating an interesting contrast between the pieces on show and their historical surroundings.
The medieval town and region of Gruyères
Situated in the foothills of the Alps, Gruyères will enchant visitors with its medieval architecture, traditional crafts businesses and comfortable hotels and restaurants. In addition to the historical collection the castle features many cultural highlights, such as the HR Giger Museum dedicated to the "Alien" creator and his unique biomechanical creatures or the Tibet Museum, featuring Buddhist art from the Himalayan region.
Additionally, it is not just the castle and the region, which have made the name "Gruyères" famous, but also the cheese. The "Maison der Gruyères" at the foot of the castle hill offers interesting interactive tours that allow visitors to discover the secrets behind the authentic AOC-certified cheese.
Located in a magnificent natural landscape, the car-free city is ideal for hikers as well as winter sports enthusiasts. Due to its unparalleled beauty and ease of access, Gruyères is also an ideal destination for families.
April to September: 9 am - 6 pm
October to March: 10 am - 5 pm
The castle is open all year.
- Adult: CHF 12.-
- Senior citizens and students: CHF 8.-
- Child (6-15 years): CHF 4.-
As from 15 people: CHF 8.-
- Children under 6 years
- Swiss Museum Pass
- Raiffeisen Member Card
- ICOM (International Council of Museums)
- Swiss Museums Association (AMS)
- Association of Friends of the Château de Gruyères
The castle isn't wheelchair accessible.
No dogs are allowed into the Castle, Esplanade, Courtyard or French Garden.
There are picnic areas around the village of Gruyères.
Gruyères has many restaurants. Taste the regional specialities including a Fondue moitié-moitié, Borne ham or double-cream meringues.
By public transport
- Stop: Gruyères-Gare / Pringy (15 minutes walk to the Medieval Town and Castle)
- Train: Bern - Lausanne line, with change in Palézieux
- Train and Bus: Bern - Lausanne line, with changes in Fribourg and Bulle
- Motorway A12 (exit Bulle).
- Parking at the entry of the town, 500 meters from the castle.
The region around Gruyères offers a wide range of nature and sporting activities.
The city has various categories of hotels.