Romont is a small village with Hallstatt culture heritage situated in the Glane district of Fribourg. It is also one of the last Roman Catholic villages in Switzerland to still hold an ancient Good Friday procession.
Called “Les Pleureuses” (wailing women/mourners) it may not be quite as melodramatic and pompous as more well-known Sardinian, Sicilian, or Spanish Good Friday processions. But in its simplicity, visual reduction, musical repetition (the church choir is fantastic) it nevertheless provides a very fascinating spectacle.
The mourners march and chant clad completely in black including full, impenetrable veils. Members of the procession carry the tools of Christ’s martyrdom such as a crown of thorns, nails, a whip, and a hammer, each delicately resting on a blood red pillow. At the front of the parade, a hooded penitent carries a wooden crucifix in front of the rest, marking the Stations of the Cross.
Romont is about half an hour away from Gruyères, home of the H. R. Giger Museum & Bar so it’s possible to finish off your spiritual experience with an artistic dose of blasphemy.