The castle, set in a magnificent ring of mountains, was home to the counts of Gruyère for five centuries, from the eleventh century to 1554. The castle was (re) built in the 12th century by the counts of Gruyère as a fortification in defence of the (German-speaking) dukes of Zähringen who founded the towns of Fribourg (1157) and Berne (1191). The castle became the residence of the bailiffs of Fribourg in 1554 when the last count had to sell its indebted property. Their rule lasted until 1798, the French invasion, the Helvetian Republic (1798-1803) and Confederation (1803-1813) of 19 cantons. The canton sold the castle in 1848 to the Bovy-family from Geneva but became the owner once again in 1938.
The castle shows the artistic styles from the twelfth century onwards: the medieval walls and structures and the Romanesque chapel, the Renaissance residence, furniture and tapestries, the French gardens, the baroque bailiff’s hall, the Age of Enlightenment and the Romantic reconstruction of the interior and 19th-century art by artistic members of the Bovy family after 1848. The castle is a trip through almost nine centuries of art, history and legends, and, last but not least, cheese, of course. (Source: H. Gremaud, Château de Gruyères, Villars-sur-Glâne).