Fort du Scex


Useful Information

Location: Saint-Maurice, Valais Suisse. About 300m south of St-Maurice on Sous le Scex. Meeting point: Parking near the castle.
Open: JUN to SEP last Saturday of month 13:30.
[2020]
Fee: Adults CHF 14, Children (0-16) CHF 7, Family CHF 30, Students CHF 12, Seniors CHF 12, Military in uniform CHF 12.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaCave Castles
Light: electric
Dimension: T=10°C
Guided tours: 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

1911 Galerie du Scex was constructed and armed with four 7.5cm cannons.
1915-24 new entrance and infirmary.
1935-36 gallery to the Grotte aux Fées.
1938-939 battery Ermitage with four 7.5cm guns added.
1940-46 connection to the older casemates built.
1948-52 new ammunition magazine and infirmary built.
1984 disarming of artillery, installation of a command post.
1995 decommissioned.

Description

The Fort du Scex is a decommissioned part of the Swiss fortifications and was constructed before World War I 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.

The fort was erected to replace former fortifications. The fortification built in 1831 at St-Maurice was outdated after the development of shells filled with melinite explosives, So it was replaced by the construction of the new Savatan and Dailly forts in 1892. Scex was added in 1911 to protect these two constructions with flanking guns.

The fort was manned by a fortress company with 172 men, 6 officers, 28 non-commissioned officers, and 138 soldiers. In 1984 this was reduced to 97 men, 4 officers, 15 non-commissioned officers, and 78 soldiers.

The electricity for both forts, Scex and Cindey, was provided by the public network. But for the likely case that the civilian electricity was shut down during a war there were generators at Scex which produced the electricity for both forts. Scex had huge tanks for the fuel, the pump station is located 90m below the lower cable car station. Scex also had a water reservoir of 330.000 litres for both forts.

A strange specialty with Fort du Cindey and Fort du Scex is, that they were connected by a natural cave, a passage of the nearby show cave Grotte aux Fées. The passage was extended by the army to allow easy access. The guided tours for the Fort du Cindey actually start at the Grotte aux Fées and enter the fort through this tunnel. This is one of the reasons why both forts are often described together. However, they are visited on different tours.