Discover the site
A few thousand years before the Bishopric of Sion built Seta Castle (château de la Soie in French) in the 13th century, other people had already recognised the advantages of the strategic location of this naturally fortified hill overlooking the Rhone Valley plain.
The first Neolithic populations settled there in the 5th millennium BC in the Middle Neolithic (4700 - 4000 BC). Farming and animal husbandry were their livelihoods and they made their own pottery and tools from stone and bone. The villages of this period, founded on alluvial cones in the Rhone valley plain or, like La Soie, on hills on the southern slope, were largely self-sufficient.
After several settlements during the Neolithic period, dating back to the end of the 3rd millennium BC, the site was occupied again in the Late Bronze Age (1200 - 800 BC). The site was subsequently used as a burial ground in the Later Iron Age (450 - 15 BC) and in the Early Middle Ages (5th to 10th centuries). From 1219, the Bishop of Sion Landr de Mont had Seta Castle built to demonstrate his claim to rule over the village and the castle of Conthey, then in Savoy possession.
Visit the exhibition "Là-haut Da oben. Fortified settlements in the Valais, yesterday and today" at the World Nature Forum Naters. There you can admire a model of the site as well as finds from the archaeological excavations. The exhibition runs from 2 July to 9 September 2021.
On the hill of La Soie is the castle of Seta. The prehistoric excavations were carried out in the "Bishop's Garden".
The World Nature Forum in Naters is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10.00 to 17.00.
Admission for adults Fr. 18.-; students and AHV (with legi) Fr. 15.-, children from 6 years Fr. 9.-, families Fr. 42.-, free with Raiffeisen card or museum pass.
Access & Contact
From Sion railway station, a bus will take you to Savièse. From there, a footpath leads to the hill of La Soie, where the ruins of Seta Castle are located. You can also take the route du château, which runs along the vineyards.