Domus Romana, Augusta Raurica/Augst Photo: TES

The Roman town Augusta Raurica

Augusta Raurica was at the crossroads of trade and transport routes, from Italy to the north of Gaul to the Danube. The city was founded as a Roman colony in 44 BC, one of the earliest colonies on the Rhine at this strategically important location. The city developed into a regional centre of trade, industry and administration with about 10 000-15 000 inhabitants. From the second half of the third century onwards, the city fell into disrepair as a result of invasions by German tribes.

The Roman House (Domus Romana) is one of the first reconstructed (1957) ancient Roman villas in Europe, partly based on archaeological finds in Augusta Raurica, partly based on experiences in Pompeium and Herculaneum in Italy. The center of the villa is the peristyle courtyard. The colors of the house are similar to the finds in Herculaneum and Pompeium. The villa is a fine example of a provincial type, smaller than in Rome or Italy, but with all the characteristics of a residence of the local elite. Augusta Raurica is one of the best preserved and well documented Roman cities north of the Alps and the museum gives a good picture of life in a provincial Roman town. (Source and further information: