Augusta Raurica


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December 6th 2014
Published: December 6th 2014
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The TheatreThe TheatreThe Theatre

Said to be the best preserved theatre north of the Alps and able to seat 10,000 to 12,000 people.
After a leisurely morning of grocery shopping we all (now including Marc) caught the train to Augusta Raurica which is a well preserved Roman ruin with the best-preserved ancient theatre north of the Alps. Because of this it is one of the most important Roman sites in Switzerland.

From the railway station there are well marked out walking trails to the various sites of the ruins within easy walking distance. It is impressive, stretching over a huge area, mostly built on now, but with much of it excavated to show rooms, bathing areas, water reticulation, heating, the Forum, grave remains, columns and most impressive of all, the amphitheatre which could seat 10,000 to 12,000 people. Presumably they had Ushers and numbered seats to prevent chaos?? J

By the time the Roman General of the time had established the colony of Augusta Raurica in 15BC, Rome had developed into a powerful empire that stretched around the Mediterranean Sea. The town developed into a regional city and flourishing trade centre with approximately 15,000 inhabitants. This was because of its location on the intersection between the River Rhine and the north-south axis linking the Rhineland with Italy and the west-east route from
The water systemThe water systemThe water system

This tunnel lead down a slope to a water well area below buildings above. It is still in a fine state of preservation after all these years.
Gaul to the Danube and Raetia. Eventually, wars, epidemics and crop failures caused the abandonment of large parts of the town and around 300AD most of the settlement moved to a fort on the Rhine River. By the 7th century Basel became important and over time Raurica declined and eventually became a fishing village with many ruins.



That ended an interesting afternoon on a dull, drizzly, calm, overcast and cold day. There hasn’t been any sun to be seen in this area all week. Nonetheless, we continue to have enjoyable days despite the weather.


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Bath house areaBath house area
Bath house area

The illustration picture behind the ruins show how the bathing area might have looked. It included a massage area, sauna and swimming pool which it is believed there was an admission fee. It was fairly central to other amenities like the Forum and theatre.


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