Friday, April 19, 2013

Roman Ruins in Switzerland


"What we do in life echoes in eternity"

Some of you might recognize this quote from the film Gladiator. Ah, Gladiator, what a masterpiece! I like everything about it: the plot, the luscious costumes, the reconstruction of the Roman settlements and of ancient Rome itself, the twisted relation of Commodus with his father and sister, Maximus' thirst for vengeance and the subtle hints to its shattered romance with Lucilla. The film has so many meaningful words that I could quote half of the script here but I chose this line because I think it is comforting knowing that somehow what we are now will endure the centuries to come. Romans probably kept those words in mind too and luckily for them, even though their empire perished long time ago, an important part of their legacy still lives with us. I am not especially keen on history but as Gladiator is my favourite film I jump at every opportunity of seeing some remains of the ancient Roman Empire. I was really excited when I visited the Colisseum four years ago and I would like to visit Pompeii some day.


The first time I went to Switzerland my boyfriend took me to visit the Roman ruins of Kaiseraugst and I was totally surprised to find such a well preserved Roman city over the Alps. I know that Italy has plenty and Roman ruins, and so does Spain, France, the north coast of Africa and even England! But Switzerland? Oh yes, Maximum was actually fighting in Germania before becoming a gladiator. So, once again I was very glad to visit some place which might have been relevant in the whole Gladiator story (I know, it's just fiction and Helvetia is not Germania). Back to the Swiss Roman ruins, they are located in the old city of Augusta Raurica and the whole complex has been set as an open-air museum. Some excavations have revealed part of the ancient city, including a temple, a theatre, and old bath house and an ampitheatre, among other buildings. The historical site is totally integrated with the environment and it can be visited any time. There is also a museum exhibiting a collection of everyday objects found on the site and a small animal park where you can learn about the importance of domestic animals in the Roman empire.





Augusta Raurica is located in Kaiseraugst and is 10 minutes away from Basel by car. Entry is free (except for the museum, which costs 8 CHF. I haven't been to it so I cannot tell you if it's worth it). It is a great place to spend a lazy sunny morning and it is also possible to eat in the picnic areas around or some pizzeria nearby. 

Following the Gladiator's steps to the Elysium

Do you also like historical sites? Any suggestion?
Have a wonderful weekend!

10 comments:

  1. i love history! my father (who has passed) majored in it. unfortunately my love for it didn't go back during my early years. i find it even more special when you read about something but see it in person. it's extra special! thanks for bringing these pics to us. you look so cute in the last pic irene.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. Thanks Kim! It's nice you love history now. I think eventually we all find special what our dearest do (did) and it is even more special when we connect it to our real life :)

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  2. I followed the historical drama series, "Rome" from start to finish. I was intrigued by their way of living all those years ago, including their ingenuity in architecture. I remember being awe struck inside the Pantheon staring up at the oculus, wondering how they were able to form the coffered dome (without all the modern machinery) and how they were able to lift and build gigantic solid granite pillars. I can imagine visiting ruins- links us somehow to another time and I'd sometimes touch the rocks hoping I could be connected to that time in some way. It must have been a memorable trip and it's shown in the bright smile you have on your photo. Have a great weekend!

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    1. I have never seen the Rome series, mabe I should give it a try!
      I'm quite passionate about architecture and I also found the Pantheon impressive. But I'm even more striked at how egyptians managed to build those huge pyramids withour machinery (and the same goes the the Great Chinese Wall and many Roman buildings!)

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  3. Pues mira yo tampoco sabia que había ruinas romanas en Suiza, no te acostaras sin saber algo nuevo.
    Me gustan mucho las ciudades historicas, me enamoré de Roma hace un par de años y tambiend e alguna forma de Milan y Bolonia, que al margen de no ser tan espectaculares como Roma, tienen calzadas y curiosidades que de verdad merecen la pena ser descubiertas.
    Gladiator no es una de mis peliculas favoritas, pero la frase me ha llegado, no puede ser mas cierta.
    Precioso post Irene, nos has enseñado cosas y las fotos no pueden ser más chulas. Te felicito.
    besazo y buen finde!!

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    1. Muchas gracias Laia! Yo tengo muchas ganas de volver a Roma porque me encantó! De hecho me gustaría planear algún viaje por Italia en coche o tren, porque todo lo que vi me encantó, una sorpresa porque la verdad que Italia es un país que nunca me había atraído jejeje

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  4. Nunca había oído hablar de estas ruinas romanas.Me ha parecido muy interesante el post y desde luego el marco en el que se localizan es alucinante.Por cierto, la película de Gladiator empieza en mi tierra, en Mérida.Te invito a que conozca los restos romanos ; son excepcionales.Bsinss,wpa:)

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    1. Cierto, Emerita Augusta! Me alegro de que te gustase el post :)
      La verdad que hay muchos sitios en la península que me gustaría visitar pero por motivos familiares en los pocos días que paso por allí siempre acabo en Málaga ... será cuestión de expandir el radio de acción jejeje

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  5. How beautiful! I also love that movie too, such a great action and plot! Followed you on Bloglovin', hope you can do same;)
    Have a fabulous time!

    Best wishes, Alexandra
    www.svetusvet.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Alexandra!
      I'll update my Bloglovin' following straight away ;)

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