Saint-Maurice Castle

Saint-Maurice, Switzerland

Started at the end of the 15th century, between 1476 and 1482, the construction of St-Maurice castle took place in several stages.  They began by building a tower with doors, then a crenellated enclosure and guard towers. This led to the construction of the main body of the building and, at the beginning of the 16th century, a large retaining wall to which a new tower with a large ogival door was added.

A fire destroyed the city and St-Maurice castle simultaneously in 1693.  It was completely and quickly rebuilt to remain over time, the region’s seat of power.

It has been used as the governor’s headquarters, a guard and customs post, and between the 18th and 19th centuries an orphanage, an asylum for the elderly, a military school, a lodging for troops or a prison.  During the 20th century it became less active but more open to the general public with, after a major refurbishment in the 70s, the function of Valais cantonal military museum.

The castle is now a venue for receptions of the State Council of Valais and an exhibition space dedicated to drawings, newspaper cartoons and comic strips.  Like a nod to the famous painter Turner (1775-1851) who one day stopped in front of the castle to do a romantic painting.

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