Built in the 1950s, the Mauvoisin dam is the second largest in the state of Valais (with 211.5 million cubic metres retaining volume) and the highest arched dam in Europe at 250m.
In 1818, following the rupture of a natural ice dam, 18 million cubic metres of water destroyed everything in its path, killing 44 people. Since then the Mauvoisin dam has been used for energy production but also as protection against natural disasters.
Visits to the dam on request for groups (minimum ten people) from Monday through Friday. The route around the Lac de Mauvoisin provides a fantastic if demanding excursion (seven hours).
Mauvoisin Dam is a concrete variable radius arch dam across the Val de Bagnes on the Dranse de Bagnes stream, in the canton of Valais, Switzerland.
The eighth highest dam in the world, Mauvoisin stands 250 metres (820 ft) high and 520 metres (1,710 ft) long, with a structural volume of 2,030,000 cubic metres (2,660,000 cu yd).
Initial construction on the dam commenced in 1951 and was completed in 1957, with the reservoir filling by 1958. In 1991, the dam was raised to increase the capacity of the reservoir for winter storage.
The dam’s primary purpose is hydroelectric power generation.