The hypocaust – luxury in the town centre

Beneath today’s meadows in the former town centre are the remains of numerous buildings. They were once part of the rectangular so-called insulae lined by streets.

Augusta Raurica Hypokaust Foto Susanne Schenker

Only a few of these buildings are exposed today. The hypocaust system is from one such building – it once heated a dining hall in a luxury residence owned by a wealthy family.

The room was heated by way of an underfloor heating system – the entire floor was supported by small pillars consisting of clay tiles. What is today the entrance once served as a stoke-hole. From here the hot air flowed into the space beneath the floor of the hall and upwards through flues in the walls – an elaborate system which, for example, provided the inspiration for the heat transfer in Minergie houses.

The sight in the geodata viewer (GeoView BL)