6. Bandstand (1907)

The bandstand, built at the initiative of the town’s musical society, was inaugurated in 1907. It is situated on the square where Bulle market, a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages is held every Thursday.

Aware that the population of Bulle preferred attending open-air musical performances to paying for indoor concerts, members of the town’s music society organised a rousing cavalcade for the 1905 Mardi Gras, with horsemen and women, singers, dancers and Bohemian dancers, circus musicians and drummers in the costumes of lansquenets (German mercenary soldiers from the 15th to the 17th century). All proceeds from the event went towards building a bandstand. Since the carnival procession raised only 250 of the 5555 francs needed for its construction, the remainder was provided by the town.

The Market Square
The bandstand, inaugurated in 1907, is located on the Market Square. After the fire of 1805 much of the town was destroyed, with the exception of the castle and a few other buildings. As can be seen from the town map of 1722, the central part of the square previously accommodated a row of fifteen or more houses: all were destroyed by the fire. In 1808, Bulle town council decided to clear this terrace to help prevent further fires, and adopted a lighter and more modern approach to town planning. This gave rise to the Rue de la Promenade and the Market Square.

Bulle market embodies a commercial tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. In the 12th century, the Bishops of Lausanne, the feudal lords of Bulle, granted the town market privileges, a right previously contested by the market of Gruyères; the Counts of Gruyères renounced their claim in 1195. Bulle market was held on a Monday until 1628. That year, market day was moved to Thursday, which is still the case today.

The Sainte-Croix Institute
The building opposite the bandstand, close to the Church of Notre-Dame de Compassion, is the old Sainte-Croix Institute. The sisters of Sainte-Croix de Menzingen were a religious order who took up residence in Bulle in 1899. They opened the first higher education classes for young women: a boarding school, a secondary school and a teacher training college. The building was expanded in 1903 and 1912. For sixty-five years, until the opening of mixed classes at La Gruyère secondary school (1965), the Sainte-Croix Institute remained the only institution of this kind in Bulle. The last class closed its doors in 1986. The buildings have belonged to the town of Bulle since 2012.

© Musée gruérien

Find out more:
Pierre-Alain Stolarski, Une harmonie dans la cité. Corps de musique de la ville de Bulle (1803-2003), Bulle, 2003.
Anne Philipona, “Émancipation ou conservatisme? Les religieuses et l’enseignement”, in Histoire au féminin, Cahiers du Musée gruérien, n° 8, 2011.
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