A genuine technological and human achievement

The Grande Dixence scheme, the building project of the last century, to which every superlative applies, is a tremendous source of power. In its own way, it is also a monument to the glory of human ingenuity. This concrete temple enthroned in a mineral universe would never have been possible without the vision, intelligence, determination and courage of human beings.


A natural valley

On the borders of the Val d’Hérens, at 2400 meters above sea level, the former Cheilon glacier carved out the Val des Dix. Every summer, the shepherds from the valley drive their herds up to the mountain pastures to graze.


The first Dixence dam

The first Dixence dam (now submerged) was constructed to meet Switzerland’s rising demand for electricity. The water from the dam passed through the turbines of the Chandoline plant in Sion, 1748 metres further down.



The Cleuson dam was built in the upper Nendaz valley in order to increase the capacity of the Dixence dam complex. The collected water was pumped up to Lake Dix.


grande dixence

Three thousand men worked at the construction site of the world’s highest gravity dam. The structure was built 350 metres upstream of the first dam. Lake Dix is the largest reservoir in Switzerland.

Drilling of the P2-P3 headrace tunnel, Ferpècle, 1951.
TV report about the construction of the Grande Dixence dam (22.10.1953) (RTS Radio Télévision Suisse)

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Radio report

Report about the construction of the Grande Dixence dam (22.10.1953)


Cleuson-Dixence 1993-1998

The underground Bieudron power plant was constructed on the banks of the Rhône River, in order to increase the existing electricity generation capacity of 1,200 MW. The Grande Dixence dam was pierced to create the new water catchment.


They built the Grande Dixence dam. (The testimonies can be read in full length at the historical exhibition at the base of the dam).

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