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🌲 🌉 Bisse of Savièse

Address
Bisse de Savièse Torrent-Neuf, Savièse
Keyword
2016 Sept, Excursions
  • Date de Visite
    10.09.2018 && 14.10.2018
  • GPS
    46.25798 7.32719
logo du bisse de saviese torrent neuf

The bisse of Savièse


The bisse of Savièse (bisse de Savièse in french) or torrent-neuf bisse is a 15th century bisse that brought water to Savièse along impressive rocky walls. It is the most famous bisse in Valais and offers a magnificent free excursion. It is open from early May to late October and closed in rainy weather.

The route


The bisse of Savièse no longer exists since 1935 when it was abandoned and replaced by a tunnel to carry water to the village of Savièse. Since 2005, it is not the bisse that has been restored but a path that follows the old route of the torrent-neuf. The round trip path connects the Vouasseurs’ bars with the one in Brac. It winds its way through the forest along rocky walls and even uses metal footbridges to avoid corridors along which rocks fall. Only two small parts of the bisses are filled with water. Didactic panels and some curiosities decorate the route.

The round trip on the same route is about 9 kilometres long with a slight difference in altitude. It takes about 2h30 of walk plus 40 minutes round trip to reach the car park. The whole route is well secured but you should pay attention to small children by holding their hands as there may be a risk of slipping between or under the barriers. The Torpille team recommends a minimum age of 6 years.

The route of the bisse of Savièse displayed on site.
The route of the bisse of Savièse displayed on site.

The bisse


A bisse is an open-air canal that carries water to agricultural land for irrigation. It can be dug into the ground or rock and, most impressively, hung on a rock face and then consists of wooden boards called chenaux in french.

The 3 techniques of building a bisse on a didactic panel.
The 3 techniques of building a bisse on a didactic panel - bisse of saviese

Two techniques for building a bisse: The bisse dug into the ground and the bisse running through a wooden canal protected from the fall of stones by a roof.
The bisse of Savièse dug in the ground The bisse of savièse flowing in a wooden canal protect from the fall of stones by a roof.

The history of the bisse


The bisse is built in the middle of the 15th century and remained in service for nearly 500 years. It allowed water to be brought to the village of Savièse from a catchment on the Netage River upstream. Each farmer could use the water from the bisse by opening a small door for a certain time of the day to irrigate his field. In 1935, it was replaced by a tunnel through the Prabé mountain.

Access


Two car parks are available, P1 ans P2 car parks. The P2 is smaller and it takes 20 minutes to follow the brown “Torrent-Neuf” signs to get to the Vouasseurs refreshment bar, the starting point of the walk. 40 minutes are required from the P1 located at Binii.

Parking P2.
The P2 parking lot of the bisse de savièse

The bisse in the forest


From the car park, we go up the section of the bisse that flows towards Prafirmin above the village of Savièse. The path leads through a forest to the Vouasseurs refreshment bar. We can observe old small gates that allowed farmers to irrigate their fields with water from the bisse. Along the way, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Alps with the Dent Blanche clearly visible and the Matterhorn to its right appearing in a smaller form.

The path on a slope along the bisse and the view of the Dent Blanche and the Matterhorn.
The path on a slope along the bisse of saviese the view of the Dent Blanche and the Matterhorn from the bisse of saviese

The Vouasseurs’ bar


This is the beginning of the Savièse bisse walk. The bar is located next to the Sainte-Marguerite chapel, which is part of the Savièse parish and probably dates back to the construction of the bisse in the 15th century. The refreshment bar offers drinks as well as simple dishes such as a Valaisan plate (assiette valaisanne in french)

The Vouasseurs’ bar, a “hammer” that warned the person in charge of the bisse of a too much or too little flow and a miniature building next to the bar.
The Vouasseurs' refreshment bar with the bisse of saviese a "hammer" which made it possible to warn the person in charge of the bisse of saviese of a too much or too little flow a miniature building next to the bisse of saviese refreshment bar

The Sainte-Marguerite chapel and its interior.
The Sainte-Marguerite chapel next to the bisse of saviese Sainte-Marguerite chapel next to the bisse of saviese

The description of the route


The Torpille team shows below a chronological description of the route between the Vouasseurs and Brac refreshment rooms.

First hanging bridge


The course offers a series of 4 long footbridges each about 90 meters long.

The first footbridge of the bisse of saviese The first hanging bridgeof the bisse of Savièse

The bronze bear


Shortly after the beginning of the route and a pretty stream running down the mountain, there is an imposing bronze bear.

a stream flowing in the Savièse bisse the bronze bear of the saviese bisse

A didactic panel indicates the animals that can be observed with luck, such as chamois or golden eagle.

The path carved into the rock of the wall and a poster showing workers at the beginning of the 20th century.
The path of the bisse of saviese carved in the rock of the wall a poster presenting workers from the bisse of saviese era

Second hanging bridge


The second hanging bridge of the bisse of Savièse

1st place of picnic


A shadowy picnic spot.

A shadowy picnic spot at the bisse of saviese

The road’s curves on the western side of the Morge valley.
The road's curves on the western side of the Morge valley in front of the bisse of saviese

Beautiful slate sheet structure.
Beautiful slate sheet structure at the bisse of saviese

A plaque that reminds of the risks taken by the workers to maintain the bisse of Savièse.
A plaque that reminds of the risks taken by the workers to maintain the bisse of Savièse.

View from the bisse over the Morge valley


Southwestern view of the Rhone Valley.

Southwest view from the bisse of savièse over the Rhône valley.

Vue Ouest avec le Mont Gond et La Fava.

West view from the bisse of Savièse over the Rhône valley.

Northwestern view of La Fava, Le Sublage and Le Sérac.

Northwestern view from the bisse of saviese over the Rhône valley.

Third hanging bridge


The third hanging bridge of the bisse of saviese The third hanging bridge of the bisse of saviese

Reconstruction of a part of the bisse of savièse along the wall visible from the third hanging bridge. The workers’ feet rested only on a wooden board.
Reconstruction of a part of the bisse of savièse along the wall visible from the third hanging bridge. The workers' feet rested only on a wooden board.

The bear


A didactic panel indicates that the last bear that lived in Valais was killed in 1865.

A didactic panel indicates that the last bear that lived in Valais was killed in 1865- bisse of saviese

2nd place picnic


Picnic place in bright sunlight with a magnificent view.

Picnic place in bright sunlight with a magnificent view at the bisse of saviese

Our Lady of Torrent-Neuf


Our Lady of Torrent-Neuf with the bisse of Savièse

Mougerin Tunnel


Mougerin tunnel with the bisse of Savièse

Impressive passage over the void just after the tunnel.
Impressive passage over the void just after the tunnel ath the bisse of saviese

Fourth hanging bridge


The fourth hanging bridge of the bisse of Savièse The fourth hanging bridge of the bisse of Savièse

Cairns


Small stone mounds raised by walkers since the beginning of the season.

Cairns, Small stone mounds raised by walkers since the beginning of the season ath the bisse of saviese

The Brac’s refreshment bar


The Brac refreshment bar marks the end of the Savièse bisse’s journey. The return journey is the same way.

The Brac's refreshment bar at the bisse of saviese

The sawmill and wall of Les Branlires


It is possible to visit a sawmill driven by the force of the water as well as a route along the wall called the Branlires. These two curiosities can be visited with a volunteer from the Savièse bisse association and are, like the bisse itself, free of charge. You should refer to the information page of the official site to know the opening days for the visit of the sawmill and the wall of Branlires.

A sign indicating the sights to visit from the Brac refreshment bar.
A sign indicating the sights to visit from the Brac refreshment bar the bisse of saviese

The Soie castle and the Savièse vineyard


Below the bisse, on the way down to Savièse by car, is the Soie castle, of which only a few ruins remain overlooking the Savièse vineyard and its 300 hectares of vines.

The Soie castle and the Savièse vineyard.
The Soie castle   the vineyard of Savièse below the bisse of Savièse

Appendix


A museum is dedicated to the bisses in the commune of Ayent. In particular, it offers a pretty interactive map that shows the route of all the bisses in the Valais.

Building of the museum of the bisses interactive map which displays the layout of all the bisses of the Valais - bisse of Savièse

See the hanging bridge of French-speaking Switzerland.

Videos


Linked Attractions


Attractions in the canton of Valais
Attractions in the district of Sion

Natural curiosities in french-Speaking Switzerland
Hanging bridges in french-speaking Switzerland

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