What to do in summer > Sports and leisure > The Educational Trails > Heritage Trails > Historical Path in Vissoie > Vissoie, a medieval village

Vissoie, a medieval village

Vissoie was the residence of the lords of Anniviers, whose castle no longer exists. They governed the valley until 1467.

  Map of Vissoie

From then until the end of the old regime in 1798, the vice lord of Anniviers administered on behalf of the bishop. He lived in the Tower of the Bishop (Tour de l’Evêque) or Cour Neuve in Vissoie, while the lord apparently lived below, in the valley of the Rhone.

Vissoie was the parish centre for all of Anniviers until the separation of Saint-Luc and Chandolin in 1804. Vissoie also was the centre of trades/crafts of the valley, because it is especially here that were established the persons exercising different trades such as carpentry, blacksmiths, carriage/cart makers and others. From 1849 to 1871 Vissoie was the only postal depot in the valley. On November 1, 1871, Saint-Luc received its own repository to which Chandolin was attached. Subsequent to the arrival of the carriage road in Vissoie in 1863, mule carts were stored in sheds that also belonged to people from other villages, except for Saint-Luc and Chandolin that kept their carts near Fang at the roadside. From there, goods were transported by mule to homes. Many people from Anniviers owned a house, a barn or a granary in this village, above all the people from Grimentz. The fairs of the Val d’Anniviers took place towards the 31st of May, the 27th of September, the 19th of October and 2nd of November.

Until the twentieth century, Vissoie was the only village in the valley to have stores for supplies. The telegraph and the telephone were introduced in Anniviers, respectively in 1876 and 1899. In 1903, a small electric power station was installed near the Navisence close to Vissoie and, from 1904, electric current, especially for lighting was available. In 1911, the bank Raiffeisen Anniviers opened in Vissoie to serve the valley. Raiffeisen still has an office in Vissoie and there is also a subsidiary of the Banque Cantonale du Valais.

From the late nineteenth century, in the time of mining operations, there was a policeman in Vissoie. Since then, the police station remained in this village. From 1924 on, Vissoie had a doctor who assured medical care throughout the valley.

To complete this description, which does not claim to be exhaustive, it is still necessary to add that in Vissoie today, there is a medical centre, pharmacy, dairy plant, the Anniviers school centre and an emergency centre in the event of a disaster.

 

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To get to the first location, from the central square, go towards the church entrance and take the stairs to the right. Go up the path to the chapel.