This easy, accessible hike lets everyone discover the grandeur of Roman Helvetica’s ancient city of Aventicum, through its vestiges. Start your hike at the center of the charming medieval village of Avenches, bordered by flower-decked terraces in the summer and listed among the most beautiful villages in Switzerland. Visit the vestiges of the imposing monuments that were a major part of the ancient city’s influence and outreach from the north to the south of the Alps.
The walk begins in the heart of the medieval village of Avenches, a jewel of medieval architecture, which leads hikers to the grand Amphitheater. At the time of the Romans, it could accommodate up to 16,000 spectators who came to watch the gladiator fights, exotic animal hunts and enjoy various forms of entertainment. Today, this arena is the scene for music festivals throughout the summer season.
On the outskirts of the modern town, the majestic vestiges of ancient monuments can still be seen and are the last witnesses of Aventicum’s flourishing period; historically cited today, although covered by nature’s lush greenery. The “Cigognier” Sanctuary, the Roman Theater and the Thermal Baths reveal a glimpse of the ancient Helvetii capital’s glorious past.
A bird’s eye view awaits you from the “Porte de l’Est” and the Tornallaz Tower, on the edge of the ancient city surrounded by a still partially visible wall. The exceptional 360° panoramic view, over the Roman Site, the medieval town of Avenches, Lake Murten and the Vully vineyards, reveals the Roman Helvetia capital’s incomparable beauty and its lush greenery.
At the end of the walk, a visit to the Roman Museum is essential. It gives an overview of the many objects of worship and everyday life in Aventicum. The ancient city’s secrets are revealed in 3D images. Objects belonging to the Museum’s collection have been found in-situ during archaeological excavations and certain historical items are of inestimable value due to their rarity; such as the famous golden bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.