Hérémence and the Valley of Dix
3 November 2021
The French-speaking Valley of Dix (Le Val des Dix), canton of Valais, is home to exceptional natural (the pyramids of Euseigne and the dam and lake of the Grande Dixence) and human heritage (the church of St. Nicolas in Hérémence and the chapels and villages (Hérémence, Euseigne, Mâche, Pralong, Prolin, Riod and Ayer).
The valley is bordered on the north by the Rhone and the south by the largest dam in Europe, La Grande Dixence (1965) and the lake (lac) des Dix. The valley is surrounded by mountains of over 2 000 to 3 000 metres.
The most important village is Hérémence, which was already mentioned in 515 as belonging to the Abbey of St. Maurice (canton of Valais). In the Middle Ages, the village appears under various names, including Aremens, Herementia, Eremencia, Hermentia and, from 1329, Hérémence.
Savoy ruled the village after 1218 and until the late fifteenth/beginning of the sixteenth century. Hérémence was annexed to Sion/Sitten by the Assembly (Diète) of the Seven Tithings or Zenden (Zehnden/dizains in French) in 1513 and governed as part of Lower Valais (Unterwallis/Bas-Valais) as an subjeted territory ( untertanengebiet/territoire sujet) from 1524 until 1798.
Napoleon’s invasion in 1798 put an end to the power of the seven Zenden of Upper Valais (Oberwallis/Haut-Valais), and the Republic of Valais was proclaimed. Hérémence was a district in this republic.
Hérémence followed the path of this canton in 1803-1813, 1815, 1847 (Sonderbundskrieg) and 1848, the new Confederation and Constitution.