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The imposing silhouette of the hill of Valère (protected natural area with mediterranean flora) dominates Sion. It is crowned with a fortified church, whose belfry was the donjon.

Surrounded by houses it formed the medieval small fortified borough of Valère. It was the residence of the Venerable Chapter of the Cathedral ( first mentioned in 1049 ), composed of a college of secular canons who took part in the bishop’s council to assist him with the management of the diocese.

They had the privilege of choosing among themselves the future bishop, that would be nominated by the pope. Notre-Dame de Valère church ( raised to the rank of minor basilica in 1987 by the pope Jean-Paul II ), is an harmonious example of romano-gothic architecture, built between C 12th and C 13th. The organ restored in 2005, is considered to be the oldest playable organ in the world ( dated 1431-1437 ).

The Valais History Museum is located in Valère.

Visits to the Basilica of Valère

  • Nave and mill: free access (according to the opening hours of the History Museum below)
  • Visit of the organ: by reservation This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Guided tours of the choir and the Treasury:
    • Opening hours from June 1 to September 30, 2023:
      • From Tuesday to Sunday
      • 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m. (note 12:30 p.m. on Sundays to allow the end of the religious office), 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
    • Duration of the visit: 45 minutes
    • Prices :
      • Adults: 4.-
      • Children, students and seniors: 2.-
June - September
Monday - Sunday
10.00 - 18.00
October - May
Tuesday - Sunday
10.00 - 17.00