In this city founded by the Celtic tribe of the Helvetians, parts of roman structures are still visible today - the theatre, the amphitheatre as well as the Cigognier-sanctuary. Thanks to the Erleb-AR app, these can now be viewed in their antique glory.
It was modified and transformed around 165 AD, reaching 105 by 92 m. Its simple outer wall was then replaced by a massive structure forming a monumental crowning wall 7.5 m high, displaying semi-circular niches as well as pilasters on the outer side
The building was destroyed between the late 3rd and the early 4th century AD. In the late 11th century, a 23.5 m high tower was built above the former eastern door. Since 1838, this tower shelters the Roman Museum. A visit is very much recomended.
Its remains were cleared mainly from 1938 to 1940, as part of an activity program for the unemployed. This is where the famous gold bust of the emperor Marcus Aurelius was discovered, hidden in a sewer.
In the axis of the temple façade, a 53 m long paved pathway was probably used during processions between the theatre and the place of worship. A massive foundation block identified on this path could mark the location of a monumental altar. The Cigognier sanctuary was not devoted to a single god, but to an entire pantheon which was important to the Helvetian community, and probably also to the cult of the deified emperor.
This is a “Gallo-Roman” theatre: instead of a back wall of stage with two to three floors, theatres of this kind had a stage wall sloping down symmetrically towards the centre, which was occupied by a small stage building of one floor only. With a façade width of 106.25 m and a depth of 66.4 m, the theatre of Aventicum could accommodate 12,000 spectators, which makes it one of the largest edifices of its kind.
What kind of performance could be enjoyed in Gallo-Roman theatres? The evidence is scarce, but one can imagine a wide variety of genres, including mime, pantomime, dance, song, musical performances or mythological shows, but also sacrifices and rituals related to the cult of the emperor.