Roemermuseum Augst, Roman Town of Augusta Raurica H I S T O R I C A L E N V I R O N M E N T
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The Augst theatre
First excavation north of the Alps
The impressive theatre in the centre of the original town was altered several times. In its varied history it sometimes served as a play house, sometimes as a fighting arena.
The first efforts to clear and survey the theatre arose out of the interests of Basel humanists in the 16th century. In the decades around 1900 intensive excavation work took place, and from 1936 an extensive project was undertaken to preserve the site (fig. 5). Since 1992 the theatre has been undergoing thorough renovation once again because much of the ancient walls and also the earlier restoration work have been damaged by water and frost.
Before being interrupted by the current restoration work, the Augusta Raurica Foundation organised various concerts and jazz matinées here each year, and theatre performances took place every 2 - 5 years. For the time being, such performances are taking place in the amphitheatre (fig. 1,44).