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.
Until the 19th century Leuk was one of the ecclesiastical and cultural centres of the Valais. Defiant towers, castles and fine patrician houses bear witness to the former strength, self-confidence and determination of the Leuker community. The emblematic Bishop’s castle (built 1254), town hall, late-gothic St. Stephen’s Church (with its Romanesque tower and Roman fire place) and baroque Ringacker Chapel can be seen for miles around. Leuk is also looking to its future. The Bishop’s castle is being restored by a team under the world-famous architect Mario Botta, for conversion into a centre for creative encounter.