Fort Scex

part of the historical fortress of St-Maurice

Why is there a fortress here ?

St-Maurice is the northern portal of the principal alpine transit routes between the Franche-Compté and the Piemont. This determined the military importance of the place and the constant interest of erecting fortifications there.

With the development in the 1880’s of shells filled with melinite explosives, the fortress built in 1831 at St-Maurice proved to be outdated and had to be replaced. In 1892 construction began of the Savatan and Dailly forts on the right bank of the Rhone.

It soon became necessary to protect these two constructions with flanking guns. Guns and ammunition were first placed on the terrace of the Ermitage, which lies on the cliff face of Vérossaz. Then, in 1911, the ‘Galerie du Scex’ was constructed and armed with four 7.5 cm guns.

An old Fort modernized

Improvements and extensions have been made more or less continuously:

- 1915 - 1924

The new entrance and infirmary, which was later used as an additional dormitory

- 1935 - 1936

Construction of a connecting gallery to the ‘Grotte aux Fées’

- 1938 - 1939

Addition of the battery ‘Ermitage’ with four 7.5 cm guns

- 1940 - 1946

An interior passageway connects the new quarters with the isolated older ones of the casemates

- 1948 - 1952

New ammunition magazine and infirmary

- 1984

Disarmament of the artillery, installation of a big command post on the site of the infirmary

- 1995

The fort is downgraded and abandoned


- Before disarmament of the artillery: 1 fortress company with 172 men
                                                      (6 officers, 28 non-commissioned officers, 138 soldiers)

- After disarmament of the artillery:    1 fortress company with 97 men
                                                      (4 officers, 15 non-commissioned officers, 78 soldiers)

Special point of interest

- The machine room and the switchboard also serve Fort Cindey.

- The pump station for fuel is situated 90m below the lower cable car station 

- In the Fort there is also the battalion fire control centre.

- There is a big command post in the Fort and a water reservoir of 330'000 litres.

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Dernière révision 02.05.2014