Culture

Valais is not an artificially created leisure park. It is a home to many people, who continue actively to make their mark on this region, from north to south, with their traditions and customs. For example, cow fights have only recently become an iconic symbol of the Valaisian way of life. Of course Carnival also deserves a mention, although few of the dramatis personae from the Carnival past have survived to the present day. Among them are the empaillés and pelluches in Evolène, and the Tschäggättä in Lötschental.

Fancy a tour of artistic discovery in Valais? Then just look around you. At the Valais Art Museum in Sion you can follow in the footsteps of art history, viewing seminal works of art: paintings depicting life in Valais or inspired by the Valais landscape. Art in Valais can also be experienced outdoors. Put on your hiking shoes and wander through the sculpture gardens of Champex-Lac, Verbier and Binn Valley Nature Park. If traditional art is more your thing, the Gianadda Foundation in Martigny and the Pierre Arnaud Foundation in Lens will meet your needs.

Cultural treasures

Set out on a discovery trail and learn how the various tribes made their mark on the identity of Valais. Sion was built over a necropolis which is one of the largest in Europe, going back to the early Stone Age. The Roman era left its mark on Martigny, and archaeologists have uncovered Roman arenas. An audio-visual collection is available at the Valais Media Library, where you can browse through the history of Valais. 2,000 years of history await you in Saint-Maurice, the main centre for religious cultural treasures. Reminders of the Middle Ages can be found throughout Valais: at Stockalper Castle in Brig, and at the Tourbillon and Valeria castles in Sion.

Valais was the site of the first open air music festival in Switzerland back in the 1970s, specifically the forest of Sapinhaut. This positive energy has never left the region. In the winter, as in the summer, you can feast your ears with the sound of Open Air Gampel, Zermatt Unplugged, Caprices Festival, Pulp Festival and the Festival des Cinq Continents. But Valais also has something to offer for lovers of classical music. The charm of the musical village of Ernen is irresistible. A visit to the festivals in Verbier, Crans-Montana and Zermatt is a must for lovers of classical music. The canton's capital city of Sion also offers a festival, which combines violins and voice in a wonderful way.

  • Music and festivals

    Sierre Blues

    The must-see attraction of these benefits is increased fivefold by the beauty of the environment where they take place, nestled in the heart of the town of Sierre surrounded by lakes and mountains. A blues event not to be missed!

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  • Music and festivals

    Open Air Gampel

    Every year 80,000 spectators celebrate “across the Lötschberg” on the Valais valley during the third August weekend. “Gampel” is thus one of the largest Swiss open air events.

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  • Music and festivals

    Rock the Pistes Festival

    Get your skis on and join other music fans on the slopes in the magnificent Portes du Soleil ski area! All skiers can enjoy live daytime performances on the slopes at unique venues throughout the ski area.

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  • Music and festivals

    Zermatt Unplugged

    Founded in 2007 by Thomas Sterchi and Marco Godat as a singer and songwriter festival, Zermatt Unplugged has increasingly developed into a meeting point for fans of unadulterated sounds.

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  • Music and festivals

    Festival Musikdorf Ernen

    Experience the finest piano performances and new interpretations of baroque music. We also invite you to discover fabulous music at our chamber music festivals.

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  • Music and festivals

    Caprices Festival

    Caprices hosts international stars for prestigious concerts. A torrid atmosphere will electrify Crans-Montana for crazy evenings until the early hours !

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