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Trip Planner Europe  /  Switzerland  /  Swiss Alps  /  Canton of Valais  /  Sion

Sion

4.2
Castles · Entertainment Centers · Wildlife Areas
Sion is the capital of the Swiss canton of Valais and of the district of Sion. it had a population of ("Sédunois"). On 17 January 1968 the former municipality of Bramois merged into the municipality of Sion. On 1 January 2013 the former municipality of Salins merged into the municipality of Sion and on 1 January 2017 Les Agettes did the same. Sion is well known for its old town.Landmarks include the Basilique de Valère and Château de Tourbillon. Sion has an airfield for civilian and military use which serves as a base for countless air rescue missions.HistoryPrehistoric settlementSion is one of the most important pre-historic sites in Europe. The alluvial fan of Sionne, the rocky slopes above the river and, to a lesser extent, Valeria and Tourbillon hills have been settled nearly continuously since antiquity. The oldest trace of human settlement comes from 6200 BC during the late Mesolithic. Around 5800 BC early Neolithic farmers from the Mediterranean settled in Sion. The settlements remained small until about 4500 BC, during the middle Neolithic, when the number of settlements increased sharply. To support the population increase, farming and grazing spread throughout the valley. They also began burying their dead in Chablandes-type stone burial cists with engraved anthropomorphic stelae. The individual graves changed at the beginning of the third Millennium BC in large, dry stone wall communal tombs (such as the Dolmen of Le Petit-Chasseur). During the Beaker culture period in the second half of the third Millennium, dolmens were built once again, but they were smaller and had no podium. Stelae continued to be carved, though these were rich with geometric patterns and sometimes built out of old dolmen. At the beginning of the Early Bronze Age (around 2300 BC) the last stelae were erected.
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Where to stay in Sion

Luxury hotels occupy the northern hills, while smaller, charming guesthouses can be found in the old town, north of the train station. Be aware that many of Sion's hotels and guesthouses close during the winter months and remain closed until April. If you're planning to visit during the off-season, stay in Bern, a pleasant car or train ride away.
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