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When you flip on a light switch in Geneva, do you wonder about where the electricity comes from? While the main sources of energy in Switzerland are petroleum and other fuels (50%), about 25% is electricity generated by either domestic hydropower or nuclear power. Overall, hydropower accounts for about 12% of Switzerland’s energy consumption.

In order to produce hydropower, hundreds of dams are now scattered across Switzerland. Some of the largest ones, among the most impressive man-made structures ever engineered, were built throughout the Swiss Alps over the past century. The two mountainous cantons of Valais and Graubünden are the largest producers of hydropower in Switzerland, and generate almost half of the country’s supply.

The Emosson Dam

Built between 1969 and 1975, the Emosson dam is the second largest dam in Switzerland in terms of capacity (227 million m3). With its 180-meter high wall, it is the 3rd highest dam of the Valais.

The dam is reached by car in 1.5 hours from Geneva, and is close to Martigny and Chamonix (about 30 minutes drive from each, or a one-hour journey on the Mont-Blanc Express train). Your visit departs from Châtelard, Valais. Just be sure to schedule your trip before Sunday, October 25, 2020, when the season ends.

Ticket prices and options are below:

Besides seeing the dam itself (via funicular, panorama train, and minifunic), there is much to see/do in the area. An ephemeral Village of Branches (with structures formed from twigs and tree branches), camping in domes (there is still availability for this season at 160 Euros/night), a statue of an industrious T-Rex, hiking trails galore, a fossil site that reveals dinosaur footprints from 240 million years ago, and much more. Altogether, this is the perfect excursion for families with young children in tow.

Click below for spectacular footage of several of Switzerland’s highest dams, including Emosson. And consider a daytrip to visit one of Switzerland’s civil engineering marvels (set among its famous mountain scenery).

For more information, visit www.verticalp-emosson.ch.

We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland.  If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/.