It was pleasant to have a relaxed start to the day as breakfast was not served until 08:00, with the usual continental mixture of cereals, meats and cheeses. We chatted with a Canadian couple who were doing a whistle stop tour of France, Germany and Switzerland before heading back to their children.
Having breakfasted it was time to go into the old town add have a look around before all the tourists started to arrive.
Gruyeres Castle has had a chequered history starting in 16th century (although the castle dates back to the 11th century), when Count Michel had to sell it due to financial troubles. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bren shared his earldom between them. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the baliliffsand then to the prefects sent by Fribourg. In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who restored it with help from their friends. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public.
On entering the castle grounds we noticed that we had missed a sculpture exhibition as they were dismantling the exhibition rooms, however there were several bronzes scattered around the courtyard including this one of a group of soldiers.
There were also bronze snails of various sizes along the ground and up the wall.
Hanging on the wall there were two very large circular bronzes with intricate detail.
The castle gardens were well kept and there was also a wonderful view of the surrounding scenery.
A visit to the castle takes us through 20 rooms, some of which are used for temporary exhibitions, including the kitchen, guardroom, 2 galleries-one of which in 1559 had a sundial placed in it before the roof was put on, the chapel and the Baroque Room which contains these stained glass windows dating from the 1600's.
Gussisue was intrigued by the description "painted tapestry". This turned out to be painted walls, something lost in translation somewhere?
In one of the galleries there was an exhibition of Patrick Woodroffe's work. Ian first became aware of him by his collaboration with Dave Greenslade and the combined book and double album The Pentateuch Of The Cosmogony, from which some of the original paintings were on display.
The morning flew by and after wandering down to the shops for a bite to eat we were ready to tackle the afternoon's museum.