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HR Giger Tourism I - The Museum

We really made the effort to reach the Giger Museum back in 2002. We were traveling with Interrail tickets around the Central Europe. Our tickets, however, didn't help us further from the Swiss city of Fribourg, so in order to reach Gruyères where the Giger Museum was supposed to be, we were adviced to take a bus to Bulle. There we should hop into a local train which stops at Gruyères. It sounds more complicated than it actually was, and before too long we were treading uphill towards an idyllic medieval hilltop village famous for its cheese.

It was yet another boiling hot cloudless dead calm summer day. Most of the people in the village were swarming groups of sixty-something or older men and women moving in groups with little stickers on their shirts marking them as members of their tourist group. Many of the guides herding them had little flags or something else to hold up in order to get their group's attention. As we approached the end of the village, where Château St. Germain looms just before the upper castle of Gruyères, we overheard a tourist pensioner asking his guide about the museum door nearby.
- Oh no, you wouldn't like that, it's a museum by one of 'those' artists, you know, the guide replied merrily, leaving the man somewhat baffled, and unable to ask more. Eyes rolling we entered the museum, which still is one of my best museum experiences ever. The old castle suits perfectly to Giger's off-putting, dark, macabre and (thought-)provoking art.

Unfortunately the Giger bar right next to the museum was under construction at the time. We peeked in through the dirty windows and amongst the scaffoldings, dusty plastic tarpaulins and halogen work lights we saw already half finished spinal vault arches in very Alienesque surroundings. A pity we couldn't grab a cold pint at that time. But one of the greatest things of the whole visit in Gruyères was the contradiction between the village and the museum - who would have guessed that deep in the picturesque beautiful medieval village swarmed by happy old cheese tourists there lurks a dark pit of bizarre and perverse art straight from the outskirts of hell?

Check out also my other Giger adventures:
The Giger Bar