This is a fortified medieval castle
in a small town high up on a hill overlooking the green landscape below
It's Le Château de Gruyères
in the canton of Fribourg.
A canton is a way to divide the land of a country.
It is like dividing the country into different regions or states.
The word comes from the Latin: canto
which means: 'a section of a country'.
It's a steep climb up to the little town on the hill
before we can go through the archway at the top to reach the centre.
Glancing down into the valley below as the castle walls get closer.
This is the main street with cobbled paths.
No cars are allowed to circulate and have to be left down below.
A closer view of the mountain in the background
called Le Moléson.
It's a well-known landmark in this canton.
On the upper right, against the sky,
you can see see a sign which says Hotel de Ville.
The bird depicted in the middle is a stork (la grue in French)
which is the symbol of the Gruyères region.
Perhaps you have tasted the famous Swiss cheese
called Gruyère which is made in this region.
The town is beautifully decorated with geraniums in all the windows
and on the terraces.
People sat outside, many of them eating cheese fondue, among other specialities.
There are many old doors with carvings and decorative stonework.
This one dates back to 1591.
Equally charming windows adorn old facades.
Don't you love the points on the extremity of the shutters
which slot into the shape of the stonework around the windows?
Could this be the door to the cellar full of vintage wines?
Heart shapes are everywhere,
carved in the window boxes
and lacy hangings in the windows.
Doesn't this bench look inviting?
A place to sit and watch the people passing by.
I couldn't resist these windows with their reflections of the sky and clouds.
More attractive stone work with the pointed scallops
typical to the Renaissance style.
In the wrought-iron work,
we can see the symbolic grue (stork) once again.
Isn't this a romantic window?
Could there be a young damsel inside
waiting for her gallant cavalier to pass by?
Now I will show you how we finished off our visit
to this picturesque town
Does it look good?
Besides the cheese fondue,
this is another typical dish from this area:
Fruit of the season, served with meringues
and incredibly thick Gruyère cream.
Have you ever seen cream this thick in its natural state?
Taste a bit.
I've put three juicy blueberries there just for you!
Here is the castle seen from afar.
This photo was not taken by me.