Augusta Raurica, Blick vom Theater zum Römerhaus. Bild/Photo: Römisches Museum Augusta Raurica, Augst.

The Roman House 65 years Old

More than 65 years ago, René Clavel of Basel (1886-1969) had the idea of rebuilding a Roman house of the local urban elite in the Roman colony of Augusta Raurica, today’s Augst.

In consultation with Professor Laur-Belart (1898-1972), who was responsible for the excavations at Augusta Raurica, he had a peristyle house built next to the Roman theatre, with porches, a courtyard and workshops on the street side. Clavel handed the Roman house over to the Pro Augusta Raurica Foundation in the spring of 1955.

The Roman house is a building that illustrates the Roman life of the (provincial) elite. Clavel had visited Pompeii and Herculaneum and was not afraid to get inspired by these Roman cities and other excavations elsewhere.

The beautiful frescoes are an excellent example. The authentic Gallo-Roman or Raurico-Roman peristyle houses may not resemble the villa’s in Pompeii or Herculaneum in every respect, but the reconstruction gives a good impression and the museum provides further information.

(Source and additional information: B. Pfäffli, “The Roman House: 65 years old and far from retired” in Augusta Raurica, 2020/1, Augst).