Grande Dixence, Heremence

#11 of 95 in Parks in Canton of Valais
Must see · Dam · Nature / Park
The Grande Dixence Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Dixence at the head of the Val d'Hérémence in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. At 285m high, it is the tallest gravity dam in the world, fifth tallest dam overall, and the tallest dam in Europe. It is part of the Cleuson-Dixence Complex. With the primary purpose of hydroelectric power generation, the dam fuels four power stations, totaling the installed capacity to, generating approximately annually, enough to power 400,000 Swiss households.
The dam withholds Lac des Dix (Lake Dix), its reservoir. With a surface area of 4 km², it is the second largest lake in Valais and the largest lake above 2,000 m in the Alps. The reservoir receives its water from four different pumping stations; the Z’Mutt, Stafel, Ferpècle and Arolla. At peak capacity, it contains approximately 400000000m3 of water, with depths reaching up to 284m. Construction on the dam began in 1950 and was completed in 1961, before officially commissioning in 1965.
In 1922, Energie Ouest Suisse became established with a few small power stations. To generate substantial amounts of electricity, EOS looked to the Valais canton which contains 56% of Switzerland's glaciers and stores the largest amount of water in Europe. In 1927, EOS acquired the license for the upper Dixence basin. In 1929, 1,200 workers constructed the first Dixence dam which would be complete in 1935. The first dam would supply water to the Chandoline Power Station which has a capacity of 120 MW.
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154 reviews
  • My partner and my two children (16/12) all did the zip line . I just watched and we paid 75chf. They tell me the zip line was great (700m long). The staff were helpful and friendly. It wasn't that...  more »
  • If you are in love with big structures and concrete as well as lakes, mountains and hiking here is the place for you. Even though no James Bond films were made here, it is such a great sight. The...  more »
  • beautiful city
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  • It's a big dam.. not the most exciting place, but a good spot to start some nice hikes from
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