Roman ruins in Switzerland

Augusta Raurica, photo by a-zehn-fr on Flickr

Like its neighbors Italy and France, Switzerland has been under Roman rule for a long time, and the same as many countries who were at somepoint part of the Roman empire, they have a lot of Roman heritage to show off. Roman ruins are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, and in nearby Switzerland they also manage to draw quite a crowd. The Roman packed up and left Switzerland in 401 AD, but they left behind the remains of many colonial cities. If you are interested in Roman sites, there is much for you to see in Switzerland. Take a tour of the Swiss countryside and visit some of the best preserved and most interesting Roman ruins in Switzerland.

Augusta Raurica

Augusta Raurica used to be one of the most thriving provincial capitals near the Rhine back in the times when the Romans ruled Switzerland. The ruins are located near the village of Kaiseraugst, not far from Basel. The city had about 20,000 inhabitants and today is it the largest Roman site in Switzerland, with many of the buildings fairly well preserved and restored. The most impressive sight in the ruins is the amphitheater that could seat 10,000 people.

Marigny

Aventicum, photo by mypouss on Flickr

Marigny in the canton of Valais is today a tidy little Swiss city, but it is also the site of an ancient Roman colony named Claudii Vallensium, the capital of the Penine Alps. There are several archaeological digs around the city, showcasing the Roman heritage of the city. You can see amphitheaters, houses, a mithraeum and a domus.

Colonia Iulia Equestris, Nyon

Nyon was a center of Roman civilization in Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva. The main urban center of the colony was Noviodunum, the present-day Nyon. The city’s Roman Museum is one of the highlights of Nyon, where you can learn about the Roman occupation of Switzerland. The ruins of the Roman town include and amphitheater, aqueducts, Roman baths, a market and some very impressive and intricately carved columns.

Aventicum

Aventicum, near modern day Avenches, was the largest Roman city in Switzerland, founded in the first century AD. Although Aventicum was a flourishing colony, by the 7th century is was already in ruins. The city was rediscovered in the 18th century, and by 1830 there was already a museum on site, showcasing various archaeological finds. Since then, many of the buildings of the old city have been rediscovered and restored. Visit the large amphitheater, the theater, several temples, city walls and gates, and public baths.

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