"The 2,000-year-old town of Sion is the capital of Valais, or Wallis, a canton that is roughly 3/4 French-speaking and lies along the Rhône River between Lake Geneva and the Furka Pass (Furka Pass - see poster below). Although Valais has been part of the Swiss Confederation only since 1815, Sion has had a Catholic bishop since the 4th Century and enjoyed near-sovereign status during the Middle Ages.
Today, Sion is more of an administrative and market center than a tourist magnet--a role that makes it all the more appealing to visitors who want to sample the "real Switzerland." Yet it does have its share of tourist attractions, most notably the fortress of Château de Tourbillon and an 11th-Century church, Notre-Dame-de-Valère (see photo).
The château and church are built on a pair of steep hills that rise dramatically from the plain along the river Rhône. The château is little more than a ruin with a view, but the Valère church is still going strong after more than 800 years. It also has what is claimed to be the world's oldest functioning organ, along with a cantonal museum that houses prehistoric objects, Roman artworks, furniture from the days when Sion's bishops lived and ruled like princes, and examples of local crafts.
Other attractions in Sion:
Sion has a Natural History Museum with recently discovered dinosaur fossils, a Museum of Art, a Museum of Antiquities, and a cathedral (Notre-Dame-de-Glarier). Allow time for a visit to the Maison Supersaxo (east of the Place de la Planta), where you can get a taste of 16th Century luxury living."
"At Sion –Vaudemont was found sea stars fossilized from 170 million years ago. They are called lily of the sea. The sea stars were dug up at Holy Marguerite Cross opposite the hill Sion –Vaudemont. A statue of Rosemertha was uncovered at Sion. She was goddess of fertility" - from L. on the "Sion, Switzerland" thread.
"Sion was occupied during the Neolithic era but it seems to have started to really develop during the Celtic times.
It takes its name from the Latin word Sedunum, itself derived from the Celtic tribe that lived there, the Seduni. It was occupied by the Romans with the rest of the surrounding area in the 1st century BCE. The town-hall is said to contain several Roman inscriptions, one of which found at Sion memorializes the Roman presence: Civitas Sedunorum Patrono.
The Roman Catholic diocese of Sion is the oldest in Switzerland and one of the oldest north of the Alps."
"Priory of Sion to Sion = 171kms -1hr 48mins by car" - from Roscoe on that same thread.