A Wander around Gruyères

In deep and dark midwinter it is always reviving to look back on sunnier days.  This particular day was a lovely, warm and sunny day in Switzerland.  With Emma and Alessio we had been to Chamonix for the weekend and on our return to Zürich we stopped off for a brief wander around the very old town of Gruyères in Canton Fribourg.  The town was an important centre during the Middle Ages, but is now a bit out the way of the main transport routes.  Gruyères has turned this relative remoteness to its advantage, as the town is now to all intents and purposes a living museum of a medieval town.  It lies a short way inland from the southern end of lac gruyère and on the foothills of the Pre-Alps.  Here are three photos of the surrounding landscape.

P1020643P1020617P1020612Gruyères itself is a car free zone and to reach the town you have to climb up a fairly steep set of steps.  Once there you are immediately transported back to the Middle Ages, though with all sorts of modern facilities.  Here are a few street scenes showing some of the beautiful façades of the buildings, ending with a photo of the parish church, which stands a little apart from the town centre.

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As befits what was once an important regional centre, Gruyères boasts a very fine castle which is now the home to the regional museum.  We did the tour of the castle and very rewarding it was too.  Some fascinating objects and paintings on display.  You can find out more about the castle and museum here.  The castle is a most imposing building and has a beautiful garden.  While we were there the castle housed a temporary exhibition of the work of Zimbabwean artist Takawira Tuckson Muvezwa. His sculptures which adorned most of the open spaces of the castle are formed from recycled scrap iron.   The following photos show exterior views of the castle, the gardens and some of the free standing sculptures including a couple of Tuckson’s unusual creations.

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Gruyère the area is of course nowadays most famous for its delicious cheeses.  The town is also a bit of a gastronomic centre and as it was mid-day when we were there, we just had to sample some of the regional dishes.  We ate in the back garden of one of the hotels, enjoying the sunshine, the fresh air and the delicious food.  So I end this post with photos of two of the beautifully presented and colourful dishes and one of a hungry Alessio waiting with keen anticipation the arrival of his lunch.

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