Augusta Raurica is a Roman archaeological site and an open-air museum in Switzerland. Located on the south bank of the Rhine river about 20 km east of Basel near the villages of Augst and Kaiseraugst, it is the oldest known Roman colony on the Rhine.
Augusta Raurica, or Colonia Augusta Rauracorum, was founded by Lucius Munatius Plancus around 44 BC in the area of a local Gallic tribe, the Rauraci, relatives of the Helvetii. No archaeological evidence from this period has yet been found, leading to the conclusion that either the settlement of the colony was disturbed by the civil war following the death of Julius Caesar, or that Plancus' colony was actually in the area of modern Basel, not Augst.
The excavation site and the late Roman castle, the Castrum Rauracense, are listed as heritage sites of national significance, as are the early Christian baptisterium and the brick kiln at Liebrüti.
Many of the Roman buildings have been discovered and conserved through excavations, and most are open to the public. Several private commercial buildings have also been found (a taberna, a bakery, a potter, and a tile kiln ) as well as portions of a sewer. Around 80% of the built-up area has not yet been excavated. Augusta Raurica is the best preserved Roman city north of the Alps that has not been built over in medieval or modern times. The Roman Museum houses the most important finds from the Roman city and presents the history of Augusta Raurica. In the museum the visitor will often find special exhibits as well as most significant archaeological find at Augusta Raurica, the silver treasure of Kaiseraugst. This treasure hoard was found in the fortress in 1961/62 and it is presumed to have once been the property of a commander. The museum also has a reconstruction of a Roman house with artifacts and reconstructions showing daily domestic and commercial life from the Roman period.