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Bisse de Saxon

Natural site

This bisse is the longest one in the Valais. Numerous structures had to be built along the way in order to accommodate the various terrain and natural obstacles encountered along the way. Magnificent and impressive!

The Bisse de Saxon takes its source at 1,850 metres above sea level, in the Printse river upstream from Siviez. The bisse begins its journey of no less than 32 kilometres and ends its journey above Saxon. The inhabitants of this village located in the Rhone Valley had to be extremely short of water for their crops to undertake such a daring project.

Work began in 1865, but was interrupted initially for technical reasons and then because of a trial that lasted about ten years. Finally, work was resumed in 1874. Two years later, the Bisse de Saxon was filled with water and it was used for irrigation until 1964.

No less than three guards were needed to keep watch over this long irrigation channel. These men lived in cabins along the bisse. In 1999, an association called "Garde du Bisse" was created with the aim of restoring life to this bisse which holds an important place in the history of the Valais.

A BISSE, WHAT IS IT ?

The bisses were originally irrigation channels that diverted water from the rivers to water the farm land crops growing on the mountain slopes. They are true historical relics and bear witness to the Valaisans' relentless fight against drought. It is their construction that makes them so special. Indeed, these channels had to adapt to the different terrain and environments encountered along the way, giving rise to impressive workmanship, especially when we imagine what the means of construction were at the time. The bisses of our region take their source from the Printse, a river that flows along our valley. Of the eight bisses located in Nendaz, six still have water flowing within their banks and are still carrying out their original task of irrigation.

  • Picnic area available
  • Panorama / belvedere
  • Summer, Autumn

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