Majorie / Vidomnat, 13th century
Residence of the Major and the Vidômne, officers of the Prince-Bishop
Built in the XIIIth century, these towers take their name from two individuals, the major and the vidomne, the bishop's officers who lived in them. In 1373, the bishop Guichard Tavel bought the major's tower. It thus became the main residence of the bishops of Sion for four centuries. The Majorie has been regularly renovated since but still has a good number of episcopal features such as the fireplace room, financed by Adrien I of Riedmatten (1529-1548). It is in this room that the majority of meetings of the Valais Diète were held during the Ancien Régime. The magnificent moulded stucco doorways that decorate the entrance to the rooms are also very noticeable.
The fire of 1788 ravaged the sites. Despite many plans, the Majorie was never rebuilt and the bishop moved to a new palace, built in 1839-1840. The Majorie-Vidomnat complex was acquired by the State of Valais and was used as barracks until it was turned into an art gallery in 1947. The current appearance of the two towers is the result of several redevelopments during the XXth century. The buildings were fully renovated in 2007.