Sion Things to Do

  • Sion town square
    Sion town square
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  • Tourbillon Castle @ Sion
    Tourbillon Castle @ Sion
    by balhannah
  • Valere Castle @ Sion
    Valere Castle @ Sion
    by balhannah

Best Rated Things to Do in Sion

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    Place de la Planta

    by yumyum Written Nov 11, 2007

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    Place de la Planta (tourist office)
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    On this big basically traffic free square you will find the tourist information office, where you can get free maps and information. Also just in front of the tourist office building the little train leaves for sight seeing.

    Further you will find a “Helvetia” fountain, which is a monument to the joining of Valais to the Swiss Confederation in 1815 and the Palais du Gouvernement here and in the summer season the “Sion roule” station, where you can hire a free bicycle. In the underground of the square you can find public toilets.

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    Valère castle

    by yumyum Written Nov 11, 2007

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    back view = east view
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    The Valère castle is not as high as Tourbillon but it features the Notre-Dame-de-Valère church from the 12th century. The church is very special as it has like a chapel inside it which is fenced of by a half-open wall. The big body of the church is from a later date. The organ is from 1435 and was extended in 1687 and is apparently the world’s oldest organ still functioning.

    Inside the castle walls there is also a café and a history museum.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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    TOURBILLON & VALERE CASTLE

    by balhannah Updated Sep 8, 2011

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    Tourbillon Castle @ Sion
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    These are the two Castle's that we could see sitting on craggy knobs high above the town. Impressive sight, yes!

    Tourbillon Castle was built on the highest hill in Sion. The Castle is just ruins now, but can be explored for free. The castle was built around 1294 as a defense for the town. It was damaged in the 14th and 15th centuries, and almost totally destroyed by a fire in 1788. A lot of the walls are intact, and the views from here are fantastic!

    On the opposite side, high on another hill, is the Notre-Dame de Valere Church, also known as the Valere Castle, built during the 12th and 13th centuries. It was a minor basilica at the time of the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1984. Valere was a huge fortress, and dates back to 1049. It house house's and the Church within the walls.
    The church "Notre Dame" is Romanesque-Gothic historic monument that dates back to the same period. I didn't get inside, but I believe there are mural's and an old organ.
    It is now the Cantonal Museum for history and ethnography.

    The Cantonal Museum is open from Tue. - Sun. 10:00 - 12:00 and 2 - 6pm

    We came to both of these on our little Petit Train tour. A stop was made here for 15mins. Toilets are located here.
    You can also walk to here from the town centre, about 20mins, uphill walk.

    The website's have photo's and lots of information on both Castles

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Photography

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    Hôtel de ville (City hall)

    by yumyum Updated Nov 11, 2007

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    city hall
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    Built in 1657-1665 in Renaissance style, it was equipped in 1668 with a big astronomical clock. The entrance door is beautifully carved in wood.

    If it’s open you can visit the entrance hall where you can find the oldest remains of Christianity on Swiss soil, the Christogramm from 377 by Pontius Asclepidotus.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

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    Majorie castle

    by yumyum Updated Nov 11, 2007

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    Majorie castle - view from above
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    The fine art museum is located in what is left of the Majorie castle. The foundation year of the castle is unknown, but it was first mentioned in 1221. The living tower is closely connected to various bishops. 1529 the castle was rebuilt after a fire. In 1788 the tower was once more destroyed through a fire and rebuilt.

    Across from the castle you will find the archeology museum.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Tourbillon castle

    by yumyum Updated Nov 11, 2007

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    ruins of Tourbillon
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    Tourbillon castle was the home to various bishops and was built in the 13th century. The construction started in 1294 for Bishop Bonifatius of Challant. In 1788 it was destroyed by a big fire. But inbetween the castle was several times partly destroyed by enemies in various wars.

    These days the ruins can be visited from mid March until mid November and you get a nice view from about 650 meters above sea level.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Notre Dame-de-Valère Church

    by yumyum Updated Nov 11, 2007

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    wall frescoes
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    Inside this old church you will find various paintings and artefacts. You can pass through a door (which you need to close because of temperature regulation) and it takes you through the partition to the chapel from which you can take a peek to the original part of the church with its wall paintings.

    You can take a tour if you want to go to the inside of that part.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

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    Chapels inside the Cathedral

    by yumyum Updated Nov 11, 2007

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    wooden decorations
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    Inside the Cathedral Notre-Dame du Glarier you find several chapels. One comes with decorations made out of wood (pictures 1 and 2).

    Another one is in the crypta (picture 3) and then there is the one for baptising just as you enter the church on the left (picture 4).

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    • Religious Travel

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    Supersaxo house

    by yumyum Updated Nov 11, 2007

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    courtyard of Supersaxo house
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    Landeshauptmann Georg Supersaxo had this house built in 1505 by Georg von der Flüe. The building houses a restaurant. The festival hall features a beautiful carved wooden ceiling. Today it is a restaurant.

    Please note that the restaurant was closed when we were there, so I couldn't see the ceiling. The picture no. 2 was taken of a picture in the passage in front of the restaurant entrance.

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    • Historical Travel

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    Valère Castle

    by HORSCHECK Updated Aug 25, 2008

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    Val��re Castle at dusk
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    The Valère Castle (Château de Valère) is probably the main attraction of Sion.

    It is actually a fortified church dating back to the 12th century with some elements which even survived from the 11th century.

    Pope John Paul II visited Valère Castle in 1984, when it had the status of a minor basilica.

    The Castle church is home to one of the oldest playable organs in the world.

    The castle grounds offer panoramic views of Sion and the surrounding mountains.

    Directions:
    The Valère Castle is situated on top of a small hill (621 m), just east of the old town. To the north it faces the Toubillion Castle which sits on the opposite hill.

    Address:
    Valère Castle, Rue des Châteaux, 1950 Sion

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    Valère, the Church Castle

    by Kathrin_E Written Jun 20, 2012

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    Valère is the smaller of the two castle rocks that overlook Sion's old town, but to me it is the more impressive. It was the castle of the cathedral chapter. Its centre is the church of St Valeria (see separate tip), the smaller buildings around it were the houses of the dean and the canons. There is little space inside the fortificatory belt on top of the steep rock, though.

    A side building hosts the historical museum (Musée d'Histoire).

    The terrace at the tip of the hill has a great view of the city and the Rhône valley.

    The church has some scaffolding currently (June 2012) due to renovations on roof and facades, but it is nevertheless worth visiting. The climb must be done on foot. The visit is free, opening hours are June to September: daily 10.00-18.00, October to May: 10.00-17.00, closed on Mondays.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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    Cathedral of Notre-Dame-du-Glarier

    by HORSCHECK Written Aug 25, 2008

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    Cathedral of Notre-Dame-du-Glarier
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    The Cathedral of Notre-Dame-du-Glarier dominates the old town of Sion.

    Its Romanesque tower was erected in the first half of the 12th century, whereas the history of the main building dates back to the 15th century.

    The treasury of the cathedral is home to many reliquaries of the period between the 8th and 10th century.

    Directions:
    The Cathedral of Notre-Dame-du-Glarier is located at the Place de la Cathédrale (Cathedral Square), right in the heart of Sion’s old town.

    Address:
    Cathedral of Notre-Dame-du-Glarier, Place de la Cathédrale 1, 1950 Sion

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    CHATEAU DE VALERE

    by white_smallstar Updated Jul 9, 2010

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    Like the opposite castle of Sion (CHATEAU DE TOURBILLON), also this one is perched on the top of a hill which is easy reachable with a pleasant walk.
    Here you can find a 12tth century CHURCH (free entrance) which hosts an old organ (it seems it is the world’s oldest playable organ).
    Inside of the church, there are also some quite interesting frescoes, especially in the apsidal area.
    But is the POSTCARD VIEW from the terrace which will capture your attention.
    In fact this location is so nice that it was one of the photographic points during our meeting!
    From here the Old town lies beneath your feet with its churches, the Rhone, another hill and with a wonderful backdrop: the Alps.

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    CHATEAU DE TOURBILLON

    by white_smallstar Updated Jul 9, 2010

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    This castle (built 1294, destroyed by fire 1788) is located on the higher of the two hills overlook Sion (655 m/2,149ft).
    Inside the walls, there are few remains , but the corroborant walk is worth for the spacious view you can enjoy from here: the Old town, the other castle and the vineyards which surround Sion.

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    Town Hall

    by HORSCHECK Written Aug 25, 2008

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    Town Hall (H��tel de Ville)
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    Sion’s Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville) was constructed in Renaissance style between 1657 and 1665. The small clock tower is dominated by a large astronomical clock.

    Also well worth seeing are the carved wooden doors and the panelled rooms. In the entrance hall the oldest remains of Christianity in Switzerland can be seen: a number of Roman inscribed stones, including one from 377.

    Directions:
    The Town Hall can be found in Sion’s main street, which is the Rue du Grand Pont.

    Address:
    Town Hall, Rue du Grand Pont 12, 1950 Sion

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    • Trains
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    • Budget Travel

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Sion Things to Do

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