Period I

L´amphithéâtre de Martigny. Photo/Foto: TES.

The amphitheatre of Martigny

During the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD), Martigny, a small village of the Celtic tribe of the Veragres, was turned into a Roman city.

When he became emperor, the emperor undertook the conquest of Britain. He made accessible the most direct route to Britain: the Great St Bernard Pass.

At the same time, he reorganised the Valais. The capital was a newly founded city at the foot of the pass. He named it Forum Claudii Augusti, which later became Forum Claudii Valensium, today’s Martigny.

It was also one of the two residences of the governor of the Roman province of Alpes Graiae.

The city was built on the basis of the Roman grid system, formed by three series of five insulae, districts for poor inhabitants. These residential blocks were separated by wide avenues.

In the centre were the forum, the temple, the basilica, the public baths and other public buildings.

The amphitheatre was built in the early 2nd century near the quarry for its construction.

The amphitheatre was used until the end of the 4th century. It could accommodate 5000 spectators. The walls have been restored to their former glory.