Montag, 5. August 2013


This post is a SWISS segment from my Travel Picks and Tips  inspired by my recent visit to England, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria in the spring of 2013. 
Enjoy the adventure!

Other posts from the SWISS segment of my trip:
Touted by Trip Advisor as one of the top ten breathtaking villages in Western Europe,  the charming medieval castle town of Gruyères lives righteously up to its reputation.
Nestled regally on a hill overlooking Swiss farmland with the Alps rising sharply in the distance, the cobblestone village of Gruyères sitting at the foot of its impressive castle is famous for its namesake cheese, whose mild, nutty flavor melts so well in fondue.

Gruyere Cheese Dairy

CULTURAL TIP: Le Gruyere Cheese DairyOne can't visit Gruyères without a visit to the Gruyere Dairy where all the world's original Gruyere cheese is made. They have a lovely self-guided tour with headphones that explain the history of the cheese, its importance to the economy since the middle ages and how it is made. 

Swiss Farm Boy and working dog
delivering milk to the Dairy

Interprofession du Gruyère Case postale 12 CH-1663 Gruyères
Tél. +41 (0) 26 921 84 10
Exploring the cobblestone medieval village of Grueyers

RESTAURANT TIP: Restaurant le Chalet de Gruyères 
My friend Katharine and I about to indulge in a classic Swiss fondue lunch 
 After seeing how this world-famous chees is made, one must try it, and what better way than by ordering a mouthwatering Fondue at Restaurant le Chalet de Gruyères - one of Gruyères' signature cheese specialty restaurants in the heart of old town Gruyères.
Classic Swiss Fondue
We feasted that afternoon on fabulous fondue with bread, potatoes and pickles set in an old worlde rustic "stube" complete with Alpine handcarved wooden chairs and romantic candles everywhere.
The fondue was perfectly paired with fine Swiss local wines and we finished the dinner with a schnapps (to cut the fattiness of the cheese) and then coffee with their own signature crème chocolate to dip into the coffee. 
For the ultimate traditional Swiss Fondue or Raclette cheese experience, Chalet de Gruyères is not to be passed up on one's visit to Gruyères.

 Chalet de Gruyères Ruelle des Chevaliers 1 CH 1663 Gruyères  Tel +41 26 921 80 30 

MUSEUM TIP:  H. R. Giger
Entrance to the Museum
Just up the cobblestoned road from Chalet de Gruyères, is the main museum of Swiss surreal artist H. R. Giger.
Found in the small castle of St. Germain, the museum showcases the fantastical art of this Oscar-winner and "Alien" creator.
I found Mr Giger's futuristic art a little bit disturbing (I have never been a big fan of the film Aliens) and quite a sharp contrast from the Medieval surroundings of the quaint town of Guyères. I am sure, though, that it helps with bringing more tourists and art admirers to town who might not have thought to visit.

My friend, Katharine decided to visit the Giger mueum while I visited Gruyères  Castle: Chateau de Gruyères. She said it was a fascinating experience and if one is interested in this form of art, a must to visit when in Gruyères.

Across the lane from the Museum, is the H.R. Giger Café - reminiscent of sitting inside the bowels of an "Alien". Even the chairs are made in that genre of bizarre art. We had to have a drink and sit in those surreal chairs...just to say we had done it...and I must say we did not get gobbled up by anything extraordinary!
H.R. Giger Museum  Château St. Germain, 663 Gruyères
Tel. +41 26 921 22 00 
CULTURAL TIP:  Chateau de Gruyeres

As Katharine viewed the Skeletal creatures of H.R. Giger, I wandered up the stone-paved road to the magnificent Castle of Gruyères to envelope myself in the history of this enchanting Swiss village and its roots.

Sometime around the 11th Century, Gruerius, a nobleman out hunting in the area,  captured a crane (in French: “grue”) and chose it as his heraldic animal inspiring the name Gruyères. Legend has it that he was so enraptured by the beauty of the area, that he laid claim to the land and decided to settle here.
The town developed beneath the castle, which the Count of Gruyere had built on top of the hill, to control the upper Saanen valley. By 1195-96 it became a market town with a central street and city walls. The town developed separately of the castle.

Gruyères Castle imposes impressive fortifications, neatly manicured gardens and expansive views of the surrounding Alpine foothills.

The current castle dates back to the 13th century, and now houses an expansive museum depicting 800 years of regional architecture, history and culture. Following are some of the highlights I captured while walking around this well preserved property - one of Switzerland's finest castles to visit.

Inner Courtyard

Guard House


Colourful Wall Art

Coronation Robe

Period Stained Glass

Classic Kachloffen -
Traditional Ceramic room heater

One of the many drawing rooms cloaked in fine art


Music room

Beautiful example of a period piece

The Chapel
Grandios Fireplace

Castle Clock

Plan to spend the better part of an afternoon whilst visiting this fascinating collection of Swiss history and culture! Chateau de Gruyeres is well worth the visit and truly a remarkable experience.

Chateau de Gruyeres  Centre of Gruyères CH 1663 Gruyères, CH  Tel +41 921 21 02

 DOGS & SHOPS of  Gruyères : 

Gruyeres is littered with quaint little coulorful shops offering everything from finely crafted Swiss souvenirs through to (Swiss) chocolates and soaps.

Sweet Shop Dog

Delicious looking soaps
 One thing I observed was all of the dogs. Evidently Gruyerians love their pups as they were everywhere! I just could not resist snapping shots of some of them! 

La Gruyère Tourisme  Place des Alpes 26, 1630 Bulle +41 848 424 424

Other posts from the SWISS segment of my trip:

Also see ENGLAND:  London, OxfordChester / IRELAND GalwayDingle
AUSTRIA: Tyrolean Alpbachtal
Check out all pictures of my trip on
ME! In a pre-historic
Irish Bee Hive Hut
Life is a book, and those who don't travel read only one page."
Enjoy your visit to Switzerland and please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions when planning your own trip to England, Ireland or Europe! After living in and travelling to Europe for almost 30 years, I love to help and recommend as and when I can!

Read a little bit more about me and my travel style HERE

Enjoy the adventure!
Mary Dawn DeBriae
European Tips and Picks
Alpen Schatz Style
Spring Euro Trip 2013

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