Fort de Dailly


Useful Information

Location: Saint-Maurice, Valais Suisse. About 1km south of St-Maurice on 9. Follow signs to Lavey-les-bains spa, turn right and follow road to Morcles.
Meeting point: Parking behind Morcles at end of road. Monbenon: 5 minutes walk. Rossignol: 45 minutes walk.
Open: Mid-JUN to mid-OCT only on certain days Wed, Sat, Sun 13:30.
Only with reservation 2 weeks in advance.
[2020]
Fee: Monbenon: Adults CHF 15, Children (0-16) CHF 7, Students CHF 10, Seniors CHF 10, Military in uniform CHF 10.
Monbenon and Rossignol: Adults CHF 20, Children (0-16) CHF 10, Students CHF 15, Seniors CHF 15, Military in uniform CHF 15.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaCave Castles
Light: electric
Dimension: T=10°C, A=1.250m asl.
Guided tours: Monbenon: D=1,5h.
Monbenon and Rossignol: D=4h.
Français - French (Deutsch - German by reservation)
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Forteresse historique de St-Maurice, Michel Galliker, Avenue d'Agaune 19, CH-1890 St-Maurice. E-mail:
Reservations: St-Maurice Tourisme, Avenue des Terreaux 1, 1890 St-Maurice, Tel: +41-24-485-4040, Fax: +41-24-485-4080. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1892 begin of construction.
1940 artillery in Dailly reinforced.
28-MAY-1946 almost completely destroyed by the explosion of three ammunition depots.
JUL-1946 design and planning started.
1948 construction of new fort.
1995 decommissioned, but used as training facility.

Description

The Fort de Dailly is a decommissioned part of the Swiss fortifications and was constructed in 1892 for the defense of the Rhone valley. The Rhone valley is an important route through the Alps connecting the Franche-Comte with the Piemont. A series of forts around St-Maurice, Cindey, Dailly, Savatan and Scex, were intended to defend the St-Maurice gap, a narrow part of the Rhone valley north of St-Maurice against a conventional army. As a result this is neither an air raid shelter nor a bunker, it is actually a fortification with numerous canons and machine guns.

Fort de Dailly is located in the summit of L'Aiguille, a 1488m asl high limestone mountain which is located on the right side of the Rhone valley, protruding from the Dents de Morcles towards St-Maurice. The fortifications allows the defence against attackers on all sides and has multiple observation posts. The installed cannons were able to shoot along the Rhone valley, not only to the gap, but almost to Lake Geneva. It is the only fort which has two 15cm automatic turret guns, which are able to shoot in a 360° circle and reach Lake Geneva. The range included Montreux, Sion, Martigny and the French border to the west.

Savatan is located lower in the flank of the same mountain. The two forts are connected by an underground funicular. Savatan is the only fort of the four which is not open to the public.

1892 the two forts were erected and equipped with 34 barrels ranging from calibre 5.3cm to 15cm. The two forts had 15 underground barracks. After the explosion in 1946, which destroyed Dailly completely, it was immediately rebuilt. The new fort was equipped with two 15cm automatic turret guns, and the number of 10.5cm field guns was reduced to 4. The other weapons were 1 fortress mortar 12cm, 2 armoured-turret guns 10,5cm, 4 guns 10,5cm, 1 antitank gun 9cm, 4 fortress mortars 8,1cm and 17 fortress machine guns. The garrisson was manned by a fortress battalion with 29 officers, 101 non-commissioned officers, and 485 soldiers.

The Dailly fortification has two parts, a lower part named Monbenon and the upper part named Rossignol. The tour includes both parts, but requires a 45 minutes walk to the upper fortifications. So it is possible to participate only during the the first part of the tour. There is a road to the small village Morcles which continues to Monbenon. Here is a parking lot and the public road ends. The road is dangerous during winter, weather depending, which is probably the reason why tours are only offered during summer.