|Valais (French valɛ)|
|German name: Wallis a canton of S Switzerland: includes the entire valley of the upper Rhône and the highest peaks in Switzerland; produces a quarter of Switzerland's hydroelectricity. Capital: Sion. Pop: 281 000 (2002 est). Area: 5231 sq km (2020 sq miles)|
canton, southern Switzerland. It borders Italy to the south and France to the west and is bounded by the cantons of Vaud and Bern on the north and Uri and Ticino on the east. Its area includes the valley of the upper Rhone River, from its source at the Rhone Glacier to its mouth on Lake Geneva; the valley runs from east to west and then, in a right angle at Martigny, from southeast to northwest. From just above Saint-Maurice, the Rhone's right bank belongs to Vaud canton. The mountain chains of the Bernese and the Pennine Alps border the Rhone River valley, and on each side lateral valleys open; those of the south are spread out and inhabited, and those of the north are steep and largely uninhabited, with the exception of the Lotschental (Lotschen Valley) and Leukerbad (Loeche-les-Bains).
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