The Castle of La Bâtiaz dominates the town of Martigny with its high dungeon for 800 years.
Parking is available just before entering the town of Bâtiaz.
The castle of La Bâtiaz has been an emblematic figure of Martigny for 800 years. This castle undergoes throughout its history, the most number of assaults in French-speaking Switzerland. It is located in a strategic location, both in the Rhone valley, in the direction of Sion and in the direction of Chablais, but it is also the access to the Val d’Etremont leading to the Great St. Bernard Pass and to Italy. This strategic position, as well as its location on the Savoy frontier, cost it many conflicts with the bishopric of Sion and then the Swiss Confederates. Its name, La Bâtiaz comes from the Latin word “bastida” meaning fortress.
Panoramic view from the top of the dungeon.
The castle was built at the beginning of the 13th century by the episcopate of Martigny under the control of the bishops of Sion. It was taken by Savoy in the second half of the 13th century by Peter II who built the round tower of 55m high. At the death of Peter II, the castle returns to the bishop of Sion who enlarged it. It is again taken over by Savoy by force in the 14th century, the Bishop of Sion only retains the Upper Valais. In 1475 during the Burgundian Wars, the Savoy confronted the bishopric of Sion reinforced by the Swiss at the Battle of Panta in 1475 which resulted in a defeat of the duchy of Savoy and the loss for Valais Saint-Maurice through the Castle of La Batiâz which is damaged. In the 16th century, Walter Supersaxo’s troops set fire to an emblematic Valais figure in conflict with the Bishop of Sion. Thereafter, it no longer has military functions and becomes a ruin. Renovations took place at the end of the 20th century to highlight the ruins.
We can access to the castle, through the village below, in just 10 minutes. We arrive in a kind of large courtyard where medieval shows take place and where we can see interesting replicas of siege machines like a trebuchet. We then continue into the castle itself and are impressed by its imposing walls as well as the high dungeon. By accessing its top, one begins by using wooden staircases inside the tower and then one passes in its wall with a narrow stone staircase. Arrived at the top, the view over the valley of the Rhone and Martigny is magnificent. A small tourist train, the Baladeur, allows access to the castle from Martigny effortlessly
The castle is accessible from the town in 10 minutes.
See the listing of castles visited by La Torpille.