Avenches, L'amphithéâtre romain. Photo/Foto: TES.

Operas, Tattoo, Rock in Avenches

The Roman amphitheatre in Avenches is home to the most beautiful operas, Aïda, Nabucco, Carmen, La Traviata and others at the end of June. In August, the amphitheatre and its medieval tower (housing the splendid Roman Museum) lends its cavea (the seating) and arena (the pitch) to Rock Oz’Arènes, the festival of rock, blues, pop, electro and reggae music.

The Military Tattoo, the second most significant event of its type in Switzerland (after Basel), brings together nearly 500 musicians, military and civil, from all over Europe. This festival takes place in September. Avenches is the ancient Roman city Aventicum, capital of the Helvetians. Vespasianus (9-79) and his son Titus (39-81), both Roman emperors with roots in Aventicum, never attended shows in the amphitheatre, because it was built in the second century.

They always liked the city, however, because Titus and Vespasian lived in Aventicum when their (grand) father Titus Flavius Sabinus was a banker in this town with a population of around 20 000 (just around 4 000 nowadays). Vespasianus granted the town city rights in 71/72 with the status and name of Colonia Pia Flavia Constans Emerita Helvetiorum Confoederata. T

Titus and Vespasianus and the Roman heritage are silent spectators of these festivals and omnipresent in this ancient Roman provincial capital. (further information: