Grand Bisse de Vex
Water source : altitude 1,520m, under Planchouet
Date of construction: 1453
The canal runs along the lower level of the spruce tree forest and waters the mayens before penetrating into the woods for some kilometres. It then passes through arid "moraines" in the region of Clèbes then traverses Veysonnaz and the Mayens-de Sion to finally irrigate the crops and the prairies of the commune of Vex.
The Bisse was built in 1453, during which time the Duke of Savoie owned the region. The people of Vex presented a petition in order to obtain authorisation to build a Bisse starting from the Printse. An agreement was signed between the people of the Tithe of Nendaz under certain conditions. One of these conditions was that the people of Vex had to deliver a wooden beam of larch to Sion on an annual basis for the maintenance of the Rhône bridge at Champsec. Original documents dating back to 1453 and 1467 were registered in the archives of both communes.
With the retreat of agriculture, the rights of water usage became less important. The idea to use the Bisse for the benefit of tourism came to light back in 1930. The Society for the development of the Mayens-de-Sion area made a request keep water in the canal up to the 20th September. The Bisse was abandoned in 1971 but thanks to an initiative committee for the reconstruction of the great Bisse of Vex coming from Nendaz, one can again take advantage of this hiking route with water flowing within its banks all the way.
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