What to do in summer > Sports and leisure > Natural world > The Educational Trails > Heritage Trails > Historical Path in Vissoie > Post 1. Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Compassion

Post 1. Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Compassion

The Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Compassion, commonly called “Chapelle du Château ”, was built in 1688 on the hill where once stood the residence of the lords of Anniviers. Unoccupied after the fourteenth century, the castle fell into ruins over time.

  Map of Vissoie

A legend says that an underground staircase led from the castle to the Navisence river. Many tales and legends mention this fact, such the story of J. Prilet.

During the restoration of the chapel in 1968, a room of the former castle was discovered beneath the newer building. Currently, around the hill, the ruins of the foundation walls of the old building are still visible.

Inside, the high altar, dedicated to “ Notre-Dame-des-septdouleurs “, holding her son Jesus in her arms after his descent from the cross, dates from 1692, according to an inscription on the back of the altar. The right side altar dedicated to “ Notre-Dame-Immaculée “, has:

  • at the top in the middle: a statue of "Saint Antoine l’Ermit"
  • below, in the middle: the Virgin and Child
  • on the right: Saint-Barthélemy with his knife

The side altar on the left, dedicated to Saint-Bernard of Menthon, was sold to the parish of Ausserberg (Upper Valais) in 1959 to raise funds to transform the chapel into a “youth and entertainment centre.” This work was replaced by a magnificent “Pieta” from the early eighteenth century, a part of the altar today of “ Notre-dame-Immaculée “, right.

The altar was purchased in 2012 and brought with great pomp to its place of origin on January 27, 2013, After restoration in 2013, it has found its permanent location in the Castle Chapel. Two paintings, dating from the seventeenth century, decorate the sidewalls. One represents the Saint-Michel Archange (1647); the other the Virgin and Child crowning Saint-Georges, Saint-Antoine l’Ermite and Sainte-Euphémie, patron of the parish. The bell of the chapel once served, amongst other functions, to announce baptisms and deaths in the village.

For boys and men the bell was rung three times, three strokes while for girls and women, it was twice, three times.

Formerly, in the cellar under the north chapel, wine was kept that the parish offered for participants in the festival of Corpus Christi (Fête Dieu), who met in the afternoon before vespers. On this occasion, the speeches were delivered by religious and civil authorities, while the fife and drum band enlivened the party.


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Go down and take the path that skirts the hill on the left, to the Grotto of Lourdes.