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Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Gruyère

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GRUYÈRE, or Gruyères (German, Greyerz), is a small pastoral district in the Swiss canton of Freiburg, noted for its cheese (see CHEESE and FREIBURG), which was at one time a separate countship. It forms part of the basin of the Saane. The old town of Gruyere, where the counts had their castle, had only 1097 inhabit ants according to the census of 1870, while the neighbour ing town of Bulle had 2274. There is no mention by that name of the counts or countship of Gruyere in any document previous to the 12th century, but the same f imily with the title of count of Ogo, i.e., Hoch-gau, have been traced, though not without interruption, as far back as 923. The new designation was due, it would appear, to the fact that the counts of Ogo had held the post of gruyer (gruerius) or warden of the woods and forests to one of the later kings of Burgundy, the name of office, as in the case of the Scotch Stewarts, gradually passing into a regular family name. The counts of Gruyere were for the most part a vigorous and warlike line, and their banner, with the figure of a grue or crane, was not only a familiar object in the local conflicts of Savoy and Switzerland but saw good service in distant fields. Their last representative died in exile, his possessions having been seized by his creditors and sold to Bern in 1554.

The fortunes of the house are related with much detail in Hisely s

"Histoire du Comtede Gruyere," which occupies vols. ix. , x. , and xi. of the Memoires de la Soc. dhistoire de la Suisse Romandc, Lau sanne, 1838, &c. See also Bonstetteu, Brie) "c iibcr tin Schwcizcr- isclics Hirtcnland, Basel, 1782 ; H. Charles, Course dans La

Gruyere, Paris, 1826.