Highlights > Art, culture & history > One town, many parts

One town, many parts

Most towns develop through organic growth, starting from an initial nucleus. Sierre has a totally original character, because of the history of its districts, which still retain a degree of independence.

The history of Sierre, like that of most towns and large villages in the Valais, still bears the imprint of different civilisations: Ligurian, Celtic, and then Roman.

In the Middle Ages, the history of Sierre largely consisted of events determined or endured by kings, princes and lords. It was, above all, the place of hills, a bastion of the feudal system, a true fortified town with its manor houses and fortified houses keeping watch over the plain. The "Etat du Valais" was born in 999, when the last king of Burgundy, Rudolph III, conferred comital rights on the bishop of Sion, who thus became a temporal prince. Patriots from the Haut-Valais later struggled against the bishop in order to obtain more political rights. It was during these troubled times, in the 13th and 14th centuries, that several of the hilltop châteaux of Sierre were destroyed; only the Tour de Goubing has survived.

Initially the creation of aristocrats and winegrowers, Sierre was increasingly based on industry and services from 1900 onwards. However, the diversity that produced the town and enabled it to grow is still a fundamental part of its fabric and its spirit.

Discover more about this diversity by downloading the full document and/or exploring the town via a guided walk (available on request from the tourist office).

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Every castle, every building has its own history and typical features. Unique and typical of their region, they are well worth a visit.