Burial Church Sous-le-Scex
1 July 2021
The early Christian burial church (in Sion, canton of Valais) from the fifth century is one of the best preserved in Europe. It was built according to the architecture of the Roman basilica. The church remained in use until the 10th century.
The shape of the church of Sous-le-Scex is a response to the concerns of the Church Fathers who, after the acceptance of Christianity as the religion of the Empire (in 313), wanted Christian sanctuaries to be visually distinct from pagan ones.
Therefore, they decided to base the layout on the Roman basilica, which is characterised by a large covered hall with an apse. The plan developed in three building phases: 400-500, 550-600 and around 600 AD.
In its early years, the church functioned as a cemetery and not for liturgical ceremonies. More than 1000 skeletons have been found in about 500 graves. From the 8th century onwards, the church received a liturgical destination.