Switzerland’s Roman heritage is very much evident in different parts of the country. But the town of Avenches in Canton Vaud, located near the Lake of Murten in the western part of the country, has special significance.

Exact dates are unknown, but it is recorded that Aventicum, as the Romans called it, was the capital of the Roman province of Helvetia – the home of the Helvetii – by the year 12 BC. Aventicum was a large town at that time, with a population of 25,000, and featured conveniences and decor usually reserved for settlements of high importance and prestige. It is known that retired Roman army officers and officials were granted parcels of land in Aventicum.

The amphitheater  is the best-preserved remnant of the old Roman days, and it is used frequently for various events including opera, theater and concerts. Also clearly visible are the thermal baths and extensive walls of the town.