Thursday 15 September 2011

Grande Dixence dam

Who would have thought the subject of dams could be interesting?  This, the Grande Dixence, is the highest gravity dam in the world, in the south west of Switzerland at the head of the Val de Dix.  It is 285 metres (935 ft) high with a triangular cross section.  This apparently is what makes it a gravity dam.  Other possible types of dam are arch, buttress, or embankment dams, but Grande Dixence is a gravity dam.

The dam collects the water from 35 glaciers in the area as they melt in the summer and then it's used to drive the turbines in two power stations.  The power produced is enough for 400,000 households.

It's possible to do tours of of the dam itself, and of the pumping stations.  There is a bar and hotel at the base of the dam where you can even arrange to be married.  They seem to cater for every possible occasion.
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  1. Great postcard! Dams interest me very much, and I have done a report on Cougar Dam in Oregon for my blog. What fascinates me the most is what lies at the very bottom of the valleys filled with water. Sometimes there are whole towns down there; long forgotten.

    Thanks so much for stopping by to visit last week!

    Kathy M.

  2. @Kathy, yes, whatever was submerged too is interesting. As you say, whole towns now forgotten are still there.

  3. I think dams are fascinating and would love to do a tour of this one. I find them slightly scary too as they are holding back such power and force. When dams burst there banks, it is a terrifying phenomenon.

  4. Amazing, really! Thanks for bringing this to us, Sheila!


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