What to do in summer > Sports and leisure > The Educational Trails > Heritage Trails > Historical Path in Vissoie > Post 9.Tour d’Anniviers / Anniviers Tower

Post 9.Tour d’Anniviers / Anniviers Tower

In the thirteenth century, the Tour d’Anniviers, also called the “Tower of the Bishop” or “Cours Neuve” was part of a complex of adjacent stone houses, located in the village of Vissoie. These houses were a kind of fortress whose tower was the keep. At that time, it consisted of only three levels.

  Map of Vissoie

In 1235, the Bishop placed the village, also called castrum under the feudal control of the lords of Anniviers. In 1467, Bishop Walter Supersaxo took back his rights over Anniviers and had the valley administered by a lord and a deputy lord. On this occasion, he raised the tower to its present height. It was the administrative centre of the valley until the end of the old regime in 1798. The first Lord was Georges Supersaxo, son of Walter. In 1481, it was he who engaged the witchcraft trials in Anniviers, in which thirty people, men and women were condemned to burn at the stake. The notary Pierre de Torrenté and his son Nycollin, were amongst those condemned to the stake.

By 1798, the tower fell into private hands. The town of Vissoie bought it in 1975 and had it restored between 1982 and 1984.

The first three floors were transformed into a cultural center in 2011, while the fourth floor has an auditorium with a capacity of approximately sixty places. The fire that destroyed the neighbourhood of the Tower in 1880, marked the end of Baillos, the old wooden tower. The only part that resisted the fire was the cellar, currently still located near the Tower to the northeast, beneath the path that leads to the Tower from the north-west. It is accessed by a concealed staircase.

 

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Observe the last house on the right of the square, on the Vissoie- Zinal road.