Gruyères Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by mindcrime
  • Things to Do
    by mindcrime
  • Things to Do
    by mindcrime

Most Recent Things to Do in Gruyères

  • DSwede's Profile Photo

    Gruyeres Castle (& Aliens)

    by DSwede Updated Apr 27, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Garden view from the count's balcony

    When you walk up the courtyard to the main castle of the Gruyeres, you will pass many shops, cafes and picture perfect corners. You can walk all the way up and tour the small castle, its roomy interior and back garden. Truly beautiful in the mountain valley.

    But besides the main castle tour, there is one thing that will stand out on your walk up the cobblestone street, and that is the Aliens Museum. Aliens, as in the movie series with Sigourney Weaver. This museum has an unprecedented amount of concept art, storyboard drawings, props, models, and obviously souvenirs at the book stand. Actually the museum is dedicated to Giger in general not only his works about Alien films.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Museum HR Giger

    by mindcrime Written Apr 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Museum HR Giger
    4 more images

    My bookguide didn’t have any word for this museum so when I saw the sculptures outside I thought it was some kind of temporary exhibition!

    This is the official museum of Hans Rudolf Giger, a surrealist artist from Switzerland, very famous for his work on the film Alien (and the sequels that followed) that got an Oscar for the visual effects.
    The truth is that I got excited as I love grotesque and bizarre art, I follow him many years now not only because of the film but also through his various works, I have many vinyl records of rock and metal albums where his work can be seen at the covers, check Brain Salad Surgery (Emerson Lake & Palmer), To Megatherion(Celtic Frost), Heartwork(Carcass), How The Gods Kill(Danzig) etc Don’t forget that Giger isn’t just a painter but also a sculptor and a set designer.

    The museum opened in 1998 when Giger bought Chateaua St.Germain, converted it into a museum and now it houses the permanent exhibition of numerous works, an impressive large collection that goes through almost everything he ever made. Although the museum is open to the children a lot of themes are on the borderline and may not be suitable for the you ones as many works are obviously adult oriented including a lot of violence, sex etc

    We spent about 90’ there, and we liked the fact there weren’t many people inside(in most rooms we were alone), photography isn’t allowed inside so I don’t have any pictures to show here except the ones on the exterior or from the store.

    At the top floor we watched a small video with interview, at the same floor there is an exhibition of Giger’s own private art collection that includes several weird objects as expected… There are also lots of works of other artists that were influenced by Giger, the truth is that we were a bit tired at that point and just walked through.

    The museum is open daily 10.00-18.00
    (November to march Tue-Fri 13-17.00, Sat & Sun: 10-18.00)

    The entrance fee is 12.50CHF for adults, 8,50CHF for students/seniors and 4CHF for children.
    We bought the combined ticket for the HR Giger Museum the Castle for 17CHF

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    La Maison du Gruyère

    by mindcrime Written Apr 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    La-Maison-du-Gruyere
    3 more images

    Gruyeres is famous for gruyere cheese so it is no surprise you can visit a cheese factory here. La Maison du Gruyere is actually located at nearby Pringy (where the train station of Grueyes is).

    As it is a working place the tours are not available through out the time, the lady at the reception will give you information about the timetable on each day, usually is 9-11.00 and 12.30-14.30. Unfortunately we were there a bit late so we could see only a video about the cheese production (adding the culture and rennet, cutting the curd, checking the consistency, transferring to the moulds, pressing the cheese into the moulds).

    There is a also a store where you can buy cheese of course (also chocolates and other local related products) and a restaurant.

    You can visit and see the large cheese collection at the storage room with thousands of cheeses (each one weights 35 kilos!). In any case going to a local restaurant (plenty of them at the village of Gruyeres) and trying dishes based on cheese was much more interesting for me :)

    It’s open daily 9.00-19.00 (October to may 9.00-18.00)
    The restaurant is open 8.00-16.00

    Was this review helpful?

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    St.Theodul church

    by mindcrime Written Apr 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St.Theodul church
    1 more image

    We saw St.Theodul Parish church from the castle as it is located near by and we decided to visit later. It’s a beautiful church and the surrounding adds a lot with the high mountains, great opportunity for a good photo shoot especially from the castle where you will have great view of the landscape including the church.

    It was built during 13th century when Count Rudolph III took permission for a parish church on the left bank of the Saane covering the needs between Treme and Marivue villages, until then most villagers of the area had to go to Bulle), and was dedicated to St. Theodul in 1254.

    The church destroyed by fire 2 times, in 1679 when a lightning stroke the tower and burnt the bells and again in 1856 with only the tower and the choir surving. It was renovated again 4 years later, in 1860.
    We’ve heard the bells from the tower many times while we were in the village.

    It is open daily until 20.00 (in winter until 18.00)

    On the side you can see the graveyard with some well kept graves while the Counts of Gruyères are buried under the altar of St. Michael in the church.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Gruyères Castle

    by mindcrime Written Apr 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    bailiff's room
    4 more images

    Located at the top of a hill, the Castle of Gruyeres (château de Gruyères) is the most famous attraction of Gruyeres after the cheese :)

    You can easily spend 2 hours wondering around the numerous different rooms of this well maintained castle. Each room is different, some are more interesting than others but in general I enjoyed that most of them are decorated with furniture, old tables, chairs, some impressive fireplaces, beds, some nice Flemish tapestries, knights’ armour, we even saw a severed hand (probably from a mummy)!
    There are also some interesting paintings on the walls -most of them romantic landscapes from 19th century- but we surprised when we saw an international Collection of Fantastic Art at one of the rooms! It seems some rooms house special exhibitions.

    We also took some nice photos from the balconies where you can admire the view of the area towards the mountains and the valley.

    There is also an interesting video to see, check the timetable when you buy your ticket, we had about 75’ until the next performance so we walked slowly through the rooms, we had time to follow the numbered sequence of the rooms, each of them has a small info board with basic info but the leaflet we got at the entrance had a bit more information. In mid march there weren’t many people inside the castle but I guess it’s different during the summer when the village is packed anyway. There are some guides but we did it on our own, we had read about the castle before hand so we were already familiar of the place. Have in mind that you need to climb some stairs up and down. There is also an enclosed small garden in French style.

    History of the castle (from Wiki):
    The building was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg. In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public

    By the way the video we saw at the end was one of the most interesting I ever saw with 3D surrounded speakers and multiple screens, nice presentation in general.

    The castle is open daily 9.00-18.00 (November to march 10-16.30)
    The entrance fee is 10CHF for adults, 3CHF for children (6-16), 8,50CHF for seniors and students.
    We bought the combo ticket that includes HR Giger Museum too for 17CHF

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    the town

    by mindcrime Written Apr 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Gruyeres is a small town, I have read that during the summer months it gets packed with visitors so I guess the main square may look like a demonstration spot :) In mid march there were some people but it was far from that picture, actually it was very picturesque although from far from feeling that you are in a mevieval town with so many tourists around :)

    You can easily walk inside the village as it is car-free there almost through out the day (you have to leave your car at one of the parking lots before the entrance). On both sides of this cobbled ston wide area there are lots of souvenir stores but also restaurants where later you will return to taste the famous local dishes (most of them based on cheese of course). Don’t rush here, check the nice facades of the houses, the beautiful colors, door and window frames etc

    First we visited the castle and then the H.R.Giger Museum. Then we went for lunch and walked a bit more around taking pictures of the church and other buildings before we head down to the cheese factory.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    HR GIGER

    by balhannah Updated Sep 11, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    I was walking towards the Castle at Gruyeres when I came across some "weird" looking sculptures.
    They made me stop, and probably everybody else, as they were so unusual, and I just had to take it all in.

    Now, if you are Swiss, or have seen the film "Alien," then you probably would know HR Giger was the swiss artist who won the Oscar for best visual effects in that film.
    I didn't know of him, but I found his work pretty amazing to say the least. I did want to go into the Museum, but price put me off,[I had to choose between Castle and here], so I just peeked through the door, and then did the same at the HR Giger Bar across the other side of the street. The Bar Stools were pretty cool!!
    If you do visit the Museum, it has on display the biggest existing collection of HR Giger works, including paintings, sculptures, furnishings, film sets.

    Since coming home and reading about this Museum, I see they have a combination ticket.

    Combined tickets for the HR Giger Museum and Gruyeres Castle CHF 17

    OPENING HOURS
    Apr - Oct: opened every day 10 - 6pm
    Nov - March: Tue - Fri 1pm - 5pm
    Sat / Sun 10- 6pm
    Mondays closed

    ADMISSION IN 2011
    Adults: CHF 12.50
    Children: CHF 5.50

    Opening hours HR GIGER BAR
    Apr – Oct: opened every day 10 - 8.30pm Mondays closed
    Admission Prices


    .

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    SHOPPING IN GRUYERES

    by balhannah Updated Sep 11, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    3 more images

    From what I could see of Gruyeres, it is a one street town, full of fairly expensive Restaurant's, lots of Souvenir shops, Museums, a Town Hall, and probably the rest are private homes.

    The first building I came to when walking from the carpark, was the tourist info centre. From here, I just followed my nose to what ever shop took my interest! The street is lined with cobblestones, so sensible walking shoes are essential. There are quite a few unique Museums and souvenir shops here, that I have not seen else where. It is a great little town where I could browse the shops in a compact area, and guess what, I didn't buy anything!
    Swiss cows, [the soft variety] are for sale, plus the ceramic variety. I found a shop with a huge collection! I even found a cover for a Motorbike painted in the black and white cow print. Lots of interest, and luckily, I had lots of time!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Women's Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    THE SEVERED HAND

    by balhannah Updated Sep 11, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Severed Hand

    During my tour of the Gruyeres Castle, I came across this gruesome "severed hand."

    What on earth was this all about?
    The most popular answer was.......
    Some very courageous men from Gruyeres brought it back from the Holy Land on the 1st crusade in 1099.
    Another version .....A soldier in a scuffle had his hand ripped off, and it was brought back to the Castle as a memory of a great victory!
    Then another version is ......
    after a fire at the Castle in 1493, the hand was found on a calcinated body.

    WERE ANY OF THESE TRUE?

    Well, evidently not, it is believed to be the right hand of an Egyptian mummy.
    The process of mummification explains its dark colouring as well as its extreme slenderness. It belonged to an adult person, probably male, and of a high ranking.

    Interesting....Yes! .....Gruesome....Yes!

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    GRUYERES CASTLE INSIDE & THE RAMPARTS

    by balhannah Written Sep 11, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gruyeres Castle tapestry
    4 more images

    Be prepared for some climbing when looking around this Castle.

    Looking through the Castle rooms, I found quite a few painted with medieval legends, and others had huge Flemish tapestries. The fireplaces were huge, one even had a door through to the Kitchen! There were Knight's armour on display and nice furniture.
    The outer walls of the castle, surround an enclosed small French style formal garden. I walked along the walls to see the garden and the views of the Mountains. Also, in the outside courtyard, the views over the countryside of the Mountains, Lakes and Towns is wonderful!

    In mid-June for two days, the medieval festival of St. John is held at the castle and takes over the village with middle-ages re-enactors, crafts and weaponry demonstrations and falconry show. It may be a great time to pay a visit!
    Open every day of the year
    From April to October:
    9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    From November to March:
    10 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.

    Admission in 2011 .......9.5chf for adults

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    THE KNIGHTS HALL @ GRUYERES CASTLE.

    by balhannah Written Sep 11, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Knight's Hall
    3 more images

    The Knights Hall was my favorite room in the Castle and one I want to tell you about and show you some photo's.
    The room is full of wood panels and wall paintings/frescoes, depicting the history of the Castle. One of them shows the year 400 AD, the start of Gruyeres Kingdom, and another, 1099 AD, shows a battle and new family on a crest. A lot of them are a blend of fact and fiction.
    The ceiling is painted too!
    Last, and not least, is the long table and all the beautifully carved chairs where long time ago, the Knight's would have sat.
    Don't Miss!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    SCULPTURES & PAINTINGS

    by balhannah Written Sep 11, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Carl Bucher sculptures
    2 more images

    These sculpture's in the Castle courtyard, were to say the least, different!

    If you know of Carl Bucher, then you are looking at his Sculptures and paintings.
    His works were on exhibition, and the photo shows the "Circle of Hope" in the interior courtyard.
    It represents Holocaust victims, kneeling and wrapped in bandages, deprived of speech, movement, and sight, a sad sight when you know the representation.

    Carl Bucher was born in Zurich in 1935, and over the years, his creations "the Petrified", have been rated highly, so much so, that in 1998 the Swiss Confederation donated the "Seven Petrified" to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    GRUYERES CASTLE

    by balhannah Written Sep 11, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gruyeres Castle
    1 more image

    A visit to Gruyeres and the Castle was on my must see list. The castle, built in the 13th century was home to the many Counts of Gruyeres until the last Count was declared bankrupt!

    The Castle sits high on a hill, with beautiful views of the valley and surrounding towns, well worth seeing!
    Once inside, I learnt there are eight centuries of architecture, history and culture!
    In 1938, the State of Fribourg bought and opened the Castle and a Museum to the public. Now, we can all see what it was like during those eight centuries of change.

    I was very surprised that not many people were in the Castle, even though there were quite a few Tourist Coaches. Perhaps, as it was lunch time, they were all enjoying a meal, if so, it may be a good time to visit.
    I walked around by myself, but I do believe tours are available. It was interesting, worth the money, and I will tell you a little more in the next tip.

    OPEN....April to October : 9:00- 6pm
    ......November to March : 10:00-4.30pm

    ADMISSION IN 2011
    Adults : CHF 9.50 Seniors, students : CHF 8.50

    Parking spaces are available at the entry of the town, 500 meters from the castle.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Cheese factory-La Maison du Gruyeres

    by Dabs Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    7,000 cheese rounds aging

    Our first stop was at the cheese factory in nearby Pringy, they said that there wasn't currently any cheese making going on so we decided to go into Gruyeres and come back later but unfortunately they gave us the wrong times and we missed it on the way back as well. Check on their website in advance, the brochure says from 9-11am and 12:30-2:30pm

    The tour is 5CHF, even if the cheese making isn't currently going on they have a video tape of the entire production of the cheese that's almost like seeing the real thing plus you are provided a headset in 6 different languages (French, English, German, Italian, Spanish or Japanese) as you walk through the section that highlights the sounds and smells of cheese making.

    They also give you a sample of three cheeses at different stages to taste and you can view the cheese storage room with it's incredibly vast collection of aging cheese rounds. Up to 7,000 are stored here at one time, weighing 35 kg (77 lbs.) each. That's a lot of cheese!!!

    Was this review helpful?

  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    H.R. Giger Museum

    by Dabs Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Newsflash-Aliens invade walled Medieval Swiss city
    1 more image

    As we were walking the cobblestone streets of Gruyeres, mere steps from the 15th century castle, we came upon the most unusual and incongruous sight, tourists posing with metallic aliens outside a chateau. Turns out this is the H.R.Giger Museum, a showcase for Swiss artist H.R. Giger who won an Oscar for the special effects he created for the movie "Alien". The museum opened here in 1998 after Giger bought the Chateau St. Germain and converted it into a museum.

    We didn't stop here as this visit was all about cheese and castles for me, but if grotesque, bizarre, futuristic paintings, furniture and scupture interests you or you're dying to see erotic aliens this may be your kind of place.

    Admission is currently 12 CHF, you can see the opening times on the attached website.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Gruyères

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

108 travelers online now

Comments

Gruyères Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Gruyères things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Gruyères sightseeing.

View all Gruyères hotels