The Museum of Hérémence
The multisite museum of Hérémence
Through the construction of the Grande-Dixence dam, the Val des Dix experienced a development that changed the daily lives of its inhabitants. Until the 1950s, the Val des Dix was mainly a self-sufficient agro-pastoral life, often referred to as "medieval". In the 1960s, a wave of modernity swept through the commune of Hérémence, as the construction of the dam brought some money into families. As a result, everyday objects, witnesses of an ancestral life, were relegated to oblivion, moving from the family kitchen to the attic, from the Mayen to the garbage. A world was disappearing to make way for modernity.
Creating a museum to preserve this past was the desire of the communal authorities at the time. It was in 1977 that the idea of a local museum took shape, and it was thanks to the enthusiasm of Lucien Gauye, a local history enthusiast, that the objects of the past would find a new life. With other enthusiasts, he collected, renovated, and restored... More than 10 years of work. Thus, was born the scattered museum of Hérémence, a true testimony of the 20th century. The originality of this museum lies in its presentation as a discovery circuit through its forge, mill and communal oven, press, old-style dwelling, as well as a host of household items.
- The artisanal museum, located in the basement of the bourgeois house dating back to 1584, has been arranged by themes. Its visit begins with agricultural activities such as hemp work, haymaking, or cereal cultivation. In the former courtroom, discover various religious objects from the old church recalling the secular importance of these practices in the Alps. The mechanism of the clock, dating from the 18th century, commands respect. A journey to the Mayen is then offered, then to the alpine pasture with a reconstructed chalet housing the necessary equipment for making cheeses, séracs and butter, including the impressive boiler. Carpentry, carpentry, and turning rub shoulders with the old school, whose evolution will surprise you. A detour to the old prison will remind you of the primary mission of this justice building while introducing you to the weapons and uniforms of soldiers of yesteryear.
- The forge, dating from the 16th century, remained active until the 1960s and testifies to the life of the mountain dwellers before industrialization. The cellars are located under the forge building.
- The François-Xavier Bagnoud mill, located upstream of the village, is a restored old mill in the valley. The communal oven is adjacent and is revived several times a year for bread making at the instigation of some enthusiasts. You can visit it freely during your walks in Hérémence. Also, check the bread making dates; it is an opportunity to share a moment with the locals.
- The old-style dwelling, an immersion in the Valais of yesteryear with this dwelling presenting a traditional interior. A building from 1776 with its soapstone and drawer beds.
- The press, built in the 16th century, is the last of its kind preserved in Valais and proudly stands on the dairy square.
More than 3000 objects are on display, from the most famous to the most unusual. From the raclette oven used by the workers of the Grande Dixence to the 1700s Kebeulo that has traveled to exhibition centers around the world, you will find a multitude of objects belonging to the history, trades, and traditions of yesteryear: the blacksmith, the shoemaker, the cooperage, the vineyard, life in the mountain pasture, agricultural work, weaving, alpine cheesemaking, school...
More than a museum, it is a slice of the history of village life in the 20th century, a heritage to be passed down, a dive into the life of the past, a place of memory to experience or relive the traditions and skills of yesteryear.
Check our program of activities to know about our opening hours.
Note: throughout the year, like a treasure, the museum opens its doors to visitors by reservation. We organize guided tours with our local guides for your group outings.
Location / Access
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