Cigognier Sanctuary Avenches Tourisme
SMRA Site et Musée romains d'Avenches, Patrick Nagy, Archéologie Cantonale, Zurich

Aventicum – Capital of Roman Helvetia

The habits and customs of Aventicum’s inhabitants 2000 years ago included entertaining themselves at the arena by attending gladiator fights, taking time for their well-being, as well as basking and relaxing at the thermal baths. This Roman city was the capital of the Helvetii people, numbering 20,000 souls at the time; a settlement that rose to be a colony and was placed under the Emperor’s protection. Its influence and outreach extended far and wide, from the north to the south of the Alps. Evidence from this sumptuous and flourishing era are still visible today when visiting the Roman Site’s vestiges of its imposing monuments and the Roman Museum’s impressive collection of ancient objects.

Aventicum was a thriving city since it was founded and developed enormously during three centuries. At its peak, the city was home to nearly 20,000 inhabitants.

Many monuments and majestic vestiges remain from this prolific period and they are easily accessible to visitors during a one and a half hour hike or bike ride, as well as during a guided tour for a personalized sightseeing discovery.

Aventicum’s most precious treasures are preserved in the Roman Museum. The golden bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, discovered in 1939, in one of the ancient water pipes from under the largest temple in the ancient city, or the mysterious dodecahedron, of which scientists are still mystified as to their precise use, are just two of the rare objects to be see inside the Museum’s medieval tower overlooking the arena.

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