Circa 1300, bishop Boniface of Challant (1290–1308), who was originally from the Aosta Valley, had the castle built for himself and his successors as their main residence.


Circa 1320–1340, the first series of murals were painted on the chapel walls (in the choir).


1373, bishop Guichard Tavel acquired Majorie Tower, situated below the castle, making it the seat of episcopal power. Tourbillon played a defensive role, but also a symbolic one owing to its dominant position in the area.


1417, at the height of the Raron conflict, the castle was torched and partially demolished.


Mid-15th century, bishop William of Raron (1437–1451) had the damaged sections rebuilt and commissioned another series of paintings for the chapel (now on display in the sacristy) which he consecrated to St Georges, St Gratus and Blessed William of Neuchâtel in 1447.


May 1788, the great fire that devastated the town of Sion did not spare Tourbillon Castle, which was never to be reconstructed.


Late 19th century, thanks to the people of Sion’s determination to maintain what remained of such a significant testament to its history, work was initiated to consolidate the ruins.


1965–1969, support from the Heimatschutz allowed for further consolidation work, which included removal of the 15th century paintings and restoration of the 14th century paintings.


1993–1999, the curtain wall and masonry of the palace were reinforced.


1999, the bishopric of Sion handed Tourbillon Castle over to a foundation whose members include the Canton of Valais, the City of Sion and Bourgeoisie de Sion for the purposes of maintaining and enhancing the site.


Further restoration of the chapel was then undertaken, and the 15th century paintings, which had been removed in the 1960s, were showcased in the sacristy.


2022, new flooring was laid in the western building, opening the venue up for theatrical or musical performances.

Sources, avec leur aimable autorisation :

© Association Sedunum Nostrum

© Patrick Elsig, historien des monuments, Etat du Valais, Directeur du Musée cantonal d'histoire


Textes tirés du bulletin n° 11 "Le château de Tourbillon" édité en 1997 par l'Association Sedunum Nostrum, rédigé par M. Patrick Elsig et du guide d'art et d'histoire de la Suisse, no 1041-1042, édité en 2019 par la Société d'histoire de l'art en Suisse.