A Tour of Switzerland - Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP and the unusual Canton of Fribourg
Straddling the French-speaking and German-speaking linguistic areas, the canton of Fribourg conceals many little-known linguistic, tourist and gastronomic curiosities. We offer you a non-exhaustive list of little nuggets to discover during your next trip to Switzerland!
The old Romanesque church of Jaun Dorf (Bellegarde in French), dating from the 13th century, has been transformed into the Maison du Chant (Cantorama). Initially dedicated to the famous Friborg choral art, it has gradually opened up to other musical styles and to foreign artists. During the concert season, from June to October, music lovers can listen to magnificent classical, baroque or choir concerts every weekend. The interior of the old church with, on the ceiling, Baroque paintings by Gottfried Locher, and sublime paintings from the Middle Ages in the choir and with luminous openings, found its balance, in 2011, with the remarkable reconstruction of the historic organ from 1786.
Fans will be able to visit many remarkable churches and religious buildings in the canton of Friborg. The church at Môtier, on the shores of Lake Murten, is one of the oldest in Switzerland. The temple was built in the 11th century. The bell tower, which dates from the 13th century, is in Romanesque style while the choir, built in the 15th century, is in country Gothic style. The enlargement of the building by the nave dates from 1826. It is characterized by 2 Gothic side chapels, giving the impression of a church with a transept. It has been reformed since the 16th century.
The capital Freiburg has many small chapels. The best known is undoubtedly the Chapel of Loreto, a Baroque building from 1647-48, a miniaturization of the Santa Casa de Loreto in Italy. It offers a magnificent view of the Old Town. The Marian chapel of Notre-Dame de Bourguillon has been a pilgrimage sanctuary since the 15th century, when it was built. Inside, the Madonna and Child dates from the second quarter of the 14th century. The Pérolle chapel offers a flamboyant Gothic style. The Cordeliers church and convent, housed in a Franciscan church dating from the 13th century, present an exceptional medieval interior: stalls among the oldest in Switzerland, Altarpiece of the Master with the carnation from 1480, Furno altarpiece from 1513 ( one of the most precious in Switzerland) and Altarpiece of Saint Anthony of Padua, executed by Hans Fries in 1506.
L'Espace is a place that pays homage to two great artistic personalities of the second half of the 20th century. Jean Tinguely and his wife Niki de Saint Phalle have deeply marked the cultural and artistic life of Friborg.
It is a former tram depot near the Museum of Art and History of Friborg which houses the Espace Jean Tinguely - Niki de Saint Phalle. It was fitted out to accommodate the creations of the two artists.
Jean Tinguely was a genius of Art in movement. His sculptures have gradually evolved into works simultaneously requesting several senses: sight, hearing, touch, and sometimes even smell. Niki de St Phalle, artist born in France, was the wife of Jean Tinguely. His most notable works remain the "Nanas" which can be admired next to the Beaubourg museum in Paris.
Fondue fans swear by Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP: no successful fondue without this creamy and gourmet typically Swiss cheese. Gourmets also appreciate it on a platter for its subtle taste, which becomes more and more aromatic as it ages.
The history of Vacherin Fribourgeois is lost in the depths of the cheese civilization of the Pays de Friborg, as evidenced by the etymology of its name derived from the Latin vaccarinus (little cowherd). This young herd keeper gave a hand to the cowherd (vaccarius), who milked and looked after the cows (vacca). What could be more natural than Vacherin to designate this little cheese that the cowherd originally produced for his family use.
Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP owes the finesse of its taste and its strength of character to the quality of the fodder from the Friborg region, an ancestral manufacturing method carefully preserved from generation to generation and its maturing which varies from 9 to 25 weeks. .