The 61st Gordon Bennett Aeronautical World Cup will be hosted in Gruyère, Switzerland in the Canton of Fribourg, at the heart of the Alpine foothills.
The Canton of Fribourg lies at the crossroads of French- and German-speaking Switzerland, tradition and modernity, historical heritage and contemporary culture, urban spirit and a countryside abounding with beautiful landscapes. With 307,000 inhabitants, Fribourg is also one of three officially bilingual cantons with 68% of the population speaking French (main language) and 28% speaking German. The Canton of Fribourg is located on the main roads and railway routes of Switzerland and Europe, less than 90 minutes from the country’s key regions and major airports (Basel, Bern, Geneva and Zurich).
The Canton of Fribourg distinguishes itself by the diversity of its appeals to tourists (link to Fribourg Region): lively traditions, excellent local food, the ever-present beauty of nature, summer and winter activities, cultural riches and business tourism. The Canton of Fribourg can be divided into three distinct regions— the cool mountain air in the south (the Pre-Alps : Gruyère, Romont and region, Châtel-St-Denis and les Paccots, Schwarzsee), the tranquility of the lakes in the north (the Three-Lakes Region : Morat, Estavayer-le-Lac and Payerne) and the city of Fribourg serving as the cultural, linguistic and geographic bridge between the various geographic regions.
With a rich cultural past, Fribourg’s long history is evidenced by its rich architectural heritage which includes Roman ruins, medieval cities and castles in addition to churches and chapels. The canton has an abundance of museums and art galleries featuring both temporary and permanent collections. Some examples include the Musée gruérien, Vitromusée or l’Espace Jean Tinguely – Niki de Saint Phalle). There is a wide choice of theaters and concert halls in the canton, including Equilibre, Théâtre des Osses, Fri-Son, or Ebullition and l’Azimut. During the summer, Fribourg also hosts a number of internationally renowned festivals, such as the Festival de Musique Sacrée, Estivale, Les Georges or Bad Bonn Kilbi. In the spring, the city of Fribourg becomes the stage of the Festival International de Films de Fribourg (FIFF), a festival which has only grown in popularity and quality since its first edition.
Located halfway between Germany and France, Fribourg is the meeting place of two cultures and the two largest markets in Europe. In a little over twenty years, the Canton of Fribourg has experienced incredible economic growth with exports almost quadrupling between 1995 and 2015 (+263%). The main sectors of the economy in Fribourg include pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, life science, IT, telecommunications, mechanical engineering, electronics, financial and business services. Fribourg is a platform for activities ranging from research and development, high-tech manufacturing, regional distribution and international management. The Canton of Fribourg also has a number of technology parks including Vivier, the Marly Innovation Center and blueFACTORY.
A dense network of institutions of higher education has developed around Fribourg. In addition to a university which attracts more than 10,000 students from many different countries, Fribourg has five technical colleges and institutes specializing in engineering and architecture, management, healthcare, education and social work. Specialized schools have also been set up in the canton, dealing with subjects such as business, agriculture, music, art, multimedia and hospitality training.
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Photos © : Laurent Sciboz, Fribourg Région, Emoiphoto.ch