We are the team Ayent'eaux and live in Ayent, Valais. Our municipality is located in the Alps, Switzerland.
The bisses are, at present, a tourist asset for the Valais. There are different walks to take along the bisses. The 18-kilometer long Bisse d'Ayent will be in the spotlight this year, as it will be represented on the new 100 Swiss franc note. But do you know what is its origin?
In the 1400s, all the inhabitants of our region were farmers and had many fields. They cultivated the land to feed themselves and their animals. However, as water ran out, our ancestors, mountain people had to build an irrigation system to water all their land. They then dug canals in the ground and fixed wooden pipes suspended by ropes along the vertiginous cliffs. These constructions are called bisses. They were used to carry water from glaciers to crops, vineyards and villages. The bisses, today, are no longer used for irrigation of the fields but they are restored because they are part of the Valais heritage.