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Lens

Lens is a municipality in the district of Sierre in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.HistoryLens is first mentioned in 1177 as de Lenz.GeographyLens has an area, as of 2009, of 13.9km2. Of this area, 5.07km2 or 36.4% is used for agricultural purposes, while 5.48km2 or 39.4% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 2.74km2 or 19.7% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.1km2 or 0.7% is either rivers or lakes and 0.46km2 or 3.3% is unproductive land.Of the built up area, housing and buildings made up 11.2% and transportation infrastructure made up 4.0%. while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 3.8%. Out of the forested land, 33.6% of the total land area is heavily forested and 5.8% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 0.4% is used for growing crops and 11.6% is pastures, while 9.1% is used for orchards or vine crops and 15.3% is used for alpine pastures. All the water in the municipality is in lakes.The municipality is located in the Sierre district, on the right bank of the Rhone. It consists of the villages of Lens, Chelin, Flanthey, Vaas, Saint-Clément and Valençon as well as a portion of the resort of Crans-Montana.It is perched on the saddle of a hill that projects out into the valley. The adjacent hilltop features a bronze statue of Christ, some 28m in height. The statue, and the ornate chapel in its base, can be visited on foot by following a path up through the surrounding woods. The path is marked by a series of shrines depicting the Stations of the Cross. The platform at the top commands a spectacular view up and down the Rhone valley, from Martigny (to the west), as far as Leuk (to the east).
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