But this time, we weren’t there to learn about cheese making. We were there to visit the famous Chateau de Gruyeres which presides at the top of hill overlooking the beautiful medieval village of the same name.
The castle tour starts at The Esplanade which was originally a large, open, level area outside the fortress meant to provide clear fields of fire for the fortress' guns . It was built in the second half of the 15th century by Count Francois 1st and his son Louis.
The canopy bed is 15th century. The tapestries representing Old Testament stories are 16th century and the iron chest safe is dated 1730.
Corot’s Room is named after Camille Corot, the famous French artist who painted the four medallion paintings in the room. Around 1852, Daniel Bovy asked his painter friends to decorate the 18th century panels. Berthelemy Menn painted two medallions and H. Saltzmann painted one other. H. Baron, F. Furet and A. Leleux and his wife also contributed to the room. The sideboard and chairs are in the Louis XV style.
The Chapel of St. John was built near the castle in the 13th century. In 1480, Count Louis had the chapel renovated, particularly the central bay area with the stained glass windows which were made in the workshop of Bolaz in Vevey. The windows show the Baptism of Christ and the Pieta. The windows also portray the arms and figures of Louis de Gruyeres and his wife. Fragments of paintings are visible on the vault and sidewalls. Wooden sculptures of the Pieta and Mary Magdalene are from the second half of the 15th century. The Altarpiece of Charles V, was created about 1530.
It is obvious from the petite size of the chapel that it was meant originally for the exclusive use of the family of the Counts of Gruyeres.