Chateau de Tourbillon

Chateau de Tourbillon, Switzerland

Anyone who loves the history of the Middles Ages may enjoy a visit to the Chateau de Tourbillon in Valais, Switzerland. The castle ruins are situated on a hill directly facing the Basillique de Valere on the opposite hill.

Valère et Tourbillon à Sion en Valais Suisse
Valère et Tourbillon à Sion en Valais Suisse (by Campiana)

The structure was originally built as a cathedral in the 13th century at a time when church edifices were largely perceived as symbols of the power within both the religious and secular communities.

Symbol of Power and Might

Tourbillion served as a summer residence for the Prince –Bishop of Valais. And even after that, it remained a symbol of the might and power until it’s destruction in 1416. It was rebuilt in 1477 by Bishop Guillaume IV.

Tourbillon Castle (by Albins)
Tourbillon Castle (by Albins)

This structure included an exterior wall with battlements and continued its symbolic presence. However, it diminished in military significance in subsequent centuries until the castle was destroyed by fire in 1788.

The ruins still remain and can be reached by a flight of steps that wind up and around the steep hill where it is located.

Sion Suisse Chapelle (by Stephane8888)
Sion Suisse Chapelle (by Stephane8888)

Tower and Chapel

The visitor will see a tall watch tower seen in the southwest corner as well as 15th century frescoes in the chapel that were damaged but still remain. This site can be a poignant step back into medieval times, a walk in the hills of history, so to speak.

Château de Tourbillon in Valais, Switzerland
Valere Chateau in Valais, Switzerland

For impressive images of the view as it appears today, you may wish to visit

French History

Although located in Switzerland, the population speaks mostly French due to its history as a center of trade between Italy and France from ancient times. Now it’s renowned for its culture and history.

The tourists that are drawn to this spot are those that have a special appreciation of its ancient history.

Chateau de Tourbillon and Chapelle de Tous les Saints
Chateau de Tourbillon and Chapelle de Tous les Saints

(See also: Alcazar of Segovia)