Ogoz island is a popular destination in the canton of Fribourg, laying in the lake of Gruyeres, reachable by foot in spring and summer when water recedes. We hiked to Ogoz last weekend for the first time and it didn’t disappoint. When it comes to nature I don’t really like to go to the crowded and popular places, I prefer remote and less known but Ogoz island is really a must for everyone living here or just visiting.

The hike is very easy and the scenery is great but what I like the most is that it’s an old historical sight, going back to the beginnings of Fribourg. The island was created in 1948 when the Rossens dam was built on the Sarine river and the valley was flooded. The ruins on the island, two towers of a medieval fortification and a restored chapel, are remnants of Pont-en-Ogoz, a medieval site dating back to 1231. For more historical information please go here.

The chapel bears the name of Saint Theodore of Octodurum (Théodule). This name intrigued me because I’ve never heard of it before, we don’t have it in the orthodox faith. It turns out he is a figure very much related to the origins  of Swiss Christianity in the canton of Valais. Originally from the Orient, he is credited with the christianisation of pagan mountain people of the southern Alps (roman province of the Alps Poninae, current day Martigny-Sion region) around the 4th century AD. He is also the saint patron of Valais and of winegrowers in Valais.

St Theodore of Octodurum chapel

It is also a medieval construction, first mentioned in 1226. It was restored and religious sermons and concerts are still held here. Program here.

Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ogoz-Insel_10.jpg

In the cold season the island is reachable by boat from the village of Le Bry. Last weekend it was rather crowded as apparently it is also a popular grill sight. The cool part is that receding waters make room for a huge beach.



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