Bulle is first mentioned in the 9th century as Butulum. In 1200 it was mentioned as Bollo.
The Medieval Times
During the Early Middle Ages it was the home of a parish church that covered a large parish. This Church of St. Eusebius was probably built in the 6th or 7th century by the Bishop of Lausanne.
The Counts of Gruyère
The First Crusade marked the beginning of the legend of the 20 counts who will reigned over the castle of Gruyère.
Guillaume of Gruyère
Tassot, the poet of the Crusade tales the valor of Guillaume:
“Over the moat, on a sudden filled to the brim
With a thousand thrown faggots, and with rolled trees stout and slim,
Before all he ventured.
On helmet and buckler poured floods of sulphurous fire.
Yet scatheless he passed through the furnace of flame,
And with powerful hand throwing the ladder high over the wall, mounted with pride.”
The Last Count of Gruyère
The counts of Gruyère had to sell seigneuries because of financial difficulties. Michel, the last one to bear the title of Count of Gruyère, was desperate to improve the financial situation, he finally had to leave his castle to his creditors of Fribourg and Berne.
The revolt of Pierre-Nicolas Chenaux
On April 29, 1781, Pierre-Nicolas Chenaux led a small group of men supervised by officers. Reunited in Bulle at the Crowned Sword Inn (now the Hôtel du Cheval Blanc), Chenaux planned a revolt, hoping to take Fribourg by surprise.
1536 to 1798
The period from 1536 to 1798 was reasonably quiet. The town expanded slightly beyond the city walls near the upper gate. While it was politically powerless, it became an economic center for cheese production and trade. It was the hub for most of the cheeses that were exported to France.
The French invasion of 1798
During the French invasion many of the residents of Bulle joined the revolutionary cause. By 26 January, a liberty tree was planted in front of the castle and the citizens had selected an oversight committee and had driven the governor out of the city.
1805 - Fire !
On 2nd of April 1805 an enormous fire destroyed almost the entire city. It was quickly rebuilt, and most of the medieval street plan were retained. However, one of the four rows of houses was not rebuilt to make room for a large marketplace. The town granary was quickly rebuilt, followed by the town hall in 1808, and the church was rebuilt in 1816.
1847-1848 - Tensions
In January 1847, civil unrest was at its height: the prefect was locked up in the castle (January 6), an armed column moved towards Fribourg but gave up halfway (January 9). In 1848, after the Sonderbund war, the new cantonal constitution made Bulle the capital of the district of Gruyère.
Saint-Denis, the cattle market
New neighborhoods were built along the main roads to give the city a star shape. In the middle of the century, the considerable expansion of the cattle markets (there were 3,000 to 4,000 head of cattle at the October fairs in the 1880s), cheese, timber and woven straw businesses encouraged the Bullois to get involved in the struggle for the route of the railway between Lausanne and Bern.