01 September 2013

Augusta Raurica

During the last week of June, I presented at a conference in Tübingen. And since it was already close (relatively), I decided to take the train and visit Basel across the border in Switzerland, as a friend lives there and I figured it would be nice to visit him. This was my first visit to the mountainous country, and I have to say, it was interesting. I complained about the prices earlier, but this isn't a rant post. Today, I am going to blog about Augusta Raurica, which is an archaeological site near Basel. If I believe correctly, this is the only Roman ruin at the Rhine.

In order to get there, we had to take the train to Kaiseraugst, which is a town a little outside of Basel, towards the east. After a short ride at the train, we found the town, which was rather small. However, the Roman ruins were all over the town, and so the pictures above show these. These pictures show the walls, among other things.

The pictures above are from the excavation sites. Near the river, there is this small old church remains, which according to the signs, was the bishop's residence. You can also see the various sculptures that were recovered from this site. I really do not have a good knowledge of Roman history, so sometimes, when I see remnants of it this far north, I am surprised. I guess if I finally visit the UK, I'd be surprised too.

The amphitheatre is perhaps one of the most preserved items in town. One has to walk a few minutes around town to find these sights, but the town is actually well-marked, so as long as the weather is pleasant, it would not be a problem at all. I also found it very nice that one can actually go and climb these structures, as we have done at the amphitheatre.

Finally, there are temples, or their remains. These structures you can also climb up. They are not restored to their original form, but still, I thought it is something I could appreciate.

Overall, I do recommend heading here whenever you're in Basel. You will need about 2-3 hours to fully explore the town and its ruins. And you'll need more if you decide to visit the Roman Museum, which we didn't.


  1. Interesting pictures. Now in my to-do-list when I am next in Basel. ;-)

  2. Ah, ruins... haven't seen any in a while! I'm still amazed how many travel opportunities you get through your work. It's really cool!

    1. Zhu,

      Thanks. Working in academia definitely gives me some travel opportunities. After all, there's conferences where one can present one's work. And so I always take the opportunity to extend it and sight-see a little if I can.