The steeple and clock of the tower are vestiges of the Porte d’Enhaut, one of the medieval gates leading into the town. The gate was demolished in 1836 to facilitate the movement of people and goods.
The general assembly of city burghers seriously envisaged demolishing the Porte d’Enhaut, one of the medieval entrances to Bulle, at a meeting on 29 May 1836:
“The council has long since felt the need to enlarge the narrow passage under the gate tower, near the Auberge de la Mort. This passage, which does no honour to the town of Bulle, has become so dangerous on market days that serious accidents can be prevented only by taking precautions.”
The clock and bell of the tower were transferred to the turret which can still be seen today in the Passage de l’Union. The statue of the Blessed Virgin, a work by the sculptor from Bulle Claude Glasson which previously adorned the Porte d’Enhaut, can today be found inside the Church.
Opposite the Tocsin tower, on the Rue de Gruyères, is the Hôtel du Cheval Blanc, formerly the Auberge de l’Épée Couronnée, the 18th century headquarters of Nicolas Chenaux.
© Musée gruérien
Passage de l’Union and Tocsin tower, circa 1900
© Photo Charles Morel Musée gruérien