Valais

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Related to Canton of Valais: Kanton Wallis, Wallis canton

Valais

(välā`), Ger. Wallis, canton (1993 pop. 262,400), 2,021 sq mi (5,234 sq km), S Switzerland. SionSion
, Ger. Sitten, town (1993 pop. 25,300), capital of Valais canton, SW Switzerland, on the Rhône River. An ancient town, Sion is now a wine and horticultural market center. There are hydroelectric plants and coal mines nearby.
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 is the capital. Bordering on France and Italy, the Valais extends from the Bernese Alps in the north to the Pennine Alps in the south, with the fertile upper Rhône valley between them. It has some of the highest peaks (Matterhorn, Dufourspitze, Dom, and Weisshorn) in Switzerland. It is a transportation hub, with an airport and 10 railways, which support an extensive tourist trade. Mainly a livestock-raising and agricultural canton, it is also known for its fine wines. The Valais has a well-developed hydroelectric system, which produces about 15% of Switzerland's power, and its industries produce metal products and chemicals. Zermatt is the largest of its numerous resorts and winter sports centers. Most of the population is French-speaking and Roman Catholic. Taken by the Romans in 57 B.C., the region later passed to the Burgundians and to the Franks. In 999, Rudolf III of Burgundy made the bishop of Sion lord of Valais, but the country later split, with the Lower Valais passing to Savoy. In 1475, the bishop of Sion and the communes of the Upper Valais, which had gained considerable autonomy, defeated the duke of Savoy, and from then until 1798 the Lower Valais was held in subjection by the Upper Valais. Made a canton of the Helvetic RepublicHelvetic Republic
, 1798–1803, Swiss state established under French auspices. In Sept., 1797, several exiled Swiss leaders in France (notably Frédéric César de La Harpe) formally urged the French Revolutionary government (the Directory) to help in
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 in 1798, an independent republic in 1802, and a French department in 1810, the Valais became a canton of the Swiss Confederation in 1815.

Valais

a canton of S Switzerland: includes the entire valley of the upper Rh?ne and the highest peaks in Switzerland; produces a quarter of Switzerland's hydroelectricity. Capital: Sion. Pop.: 281 000 (2002 est.). Area: 5231 sq. km (2020 sq. miles)
References in periodicals archive ?
BOX 1: The "Holy Waters" in the Canton of Valais The Canton of Valais is situated between two alpine mountain chains which divert rain so that irrigation is required for agricultural production.
We also visited the canton of Valais, home to the Swiss Alps, to see how Switzerland deals with disasters.
Reuters reported last week that the Swiss canton of Valais, best known for the "Toblerone mountain" and world-class ski resorts, in March published a list of 15 steps it said Tamoil should implement to clean up the 50-year old plant.
4 days, while the highest number of rooms is available in the country's canton of Valais region, which has around 836 beds on offer.
52 passengers were on board the bus when it crashed into the wall of a tunnel in the Swiss canton of Valais on Tuesday evening.
Alain Rittemer, emergency service chief in the Canton of Valais, said it took two hours to work through the "apocalypse" of wreckage He said: "The first thing wreckage.
Olivier Elsig, prosecutor for the canton of Valais, said investigators were looking at three possible causes - a technical problem with the bus, a health problem with the driver, or human error.
The bus carrying 52 people, including 12-year-old students from two different Belgian schools, crashed at around 9pm local time last night inside a tunnel on the A9 highway near Sierre, Switzerland, in the southern Swiss canton of Valais, an area of popular ski resorts in the Swiss Alps.
The driver, who was convicted of negligence leading to death, is also obliged to pay a separate fine of 500 Swiss francs, the court in the Alpine canton of Valais overseeing the accident site ruled, according to the reports.
GENEVA - Swiss police began an investigation Saturday into a train accident that occurred the day before in the alpine canton of Valais in southern Switzerland, in which a 64-year-old Japanese woman died and 40 others, mostly Japanese tourists, were injured.
GENEVA - Relatives of a Japanese woman who died in a train accident Friday in Switzerland viewed her corpse Sunday in Geneva, where it had been transported from the site of the accident in the alpine canton of Valais.
Ovronnaz is in the French-speaking canton of Valais, nestling at the foot of the Les Muverans mountain range.