Leuk/ Loèche, le mazot/ le raccard. Foto/Photo: TES.

The Mazot or Raccard

Who doesn’t know them, the chalets in the Swiss Alps? On the other hand, far less well known are le raccard or le mazot, two typical buildings for the Valais.

This wooden building on four stone pillars about 50 centimetres high was used to store and process hay, grass or grain. The pillars prevented mice and rats from entering.

The mazot always had only one entrance door and was not intended for habitation.
In many villages and hamlets, the mazot has been preserved in good or less good condition.

Nowadays, they often have a tourist, cultural or social purpose.
The grenier is very similar to the mazot but is larger and always has two or more entrance doors for several users and is also intended for living, often on the second floor.

The chalets had a different purpose. They were always located outside the village and high up on the mountain pastures. They served as summer quarters for the cattle breeders.

However, the (English) tourists in the nineteenth century called every wooden building a chalet. Nowadays, the mazot or raccard is part of the (alpine) cultural heritage.