Castles & fortresses
Well-preserved palaces, castles and fortresses are evidence of the strategic importance and economic significance of the Valais: from the Middle Ages, when the palaces and castles served to control trade routes through the Alps, to the Second World War, when Switzerland courageously defended itself in its Alpine redoubt. The commanding structures make the exciting history of Switzerland and the Valais come alive. Every castle and fortresse of the Valais have a lot to offer.
The artillery fort
The artillery fort of Champex-Lac is a fascinating world hidden in the heart of the mountain and radiating a special atmosphere. It was the key element of the fortifications of the Great Saint Bernard area. Built between 1940 and 1943, then modernised and refitted for a possible nuclear conflict during the Cold War, the fort was used by the Swiss army until 1998. There are more than 600 metres of tunnels dug through the mountain. Totally invisible from outside, the fort could house 300 people.