The Temple of Mithras is a roman ampitheatre that was found in the City of London in 1954. The Temple of Mithras is located at Bloomberg’s London headquarters.
What is the Temple of Mithras in London?
- What is the Temple of Mithras in London?
Why is the Temple of Mithras there?
In the 3rd century AD, nearly 200 years after the founding of Londinium (Roman London), an army veteran built the Temple of Mithras on the banks of the Walbrook River.
The waterlogged nature of the site provided excellent conditions for the preservation of thousands of roman artefacts and of course, the temple itself.
The Temple of Mithras was first uncovered in 1954. The site was excavated again in 2010 in preparation of the new Bloomberg building. The excavations produced more Roman finds than other single site in London, more than 14,000 to be exact.
Who was Mithras?
Mithra, was the persian god of the Sun. Worship of Mithras was common in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. It is thought that Mithraism was a cult of male Roman merchants and soldiers that generally meeted in low lit, underground temples.
When Constantine accepted Christianity in the early 4th century, the cult and worship of Mithras gradually declined.
How to visit the Temple of Mithras in London
The temple is accessed via 12 Wallbrook. Although the temple is below Bloomberg’s London headquarters, you access the temple from street level.
What happens when you visit the Temple of Mithras?
You can access the temple every twenty minutes. Initially you will be given an iPad, which will provide information on the exhibits you can see as you enter the exhibition.
After looking at the exhibits, you can go downstairs to visit the temple. It is quite dark down there ad there is an audio track which is narrated by Joanna Lumley. Joanna tells you how and what people would have worshipped in the Temple of Mithras. There are interactive screens that you can play with.
Entrance is permitted into the temple every twenty minutes, for example at 1pm, 1:20pm and 1:40pm each hour throughout the day. Once you enter the temple there is a brief show after which you are welcome to walk around the edge of this historic site. The site takes around 45mins to visit in total. The knowledgeable staff are welcoming and the exhibits engaging aided by the iPad’s on offer. When touring the temple the atmosphere and light show create an additional element of excitement to this London attraction.
Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 – 18.00
Sundays 12.00 – 17.00
First Thursday of the month 10.00 – 20.00
Closed Mondays, Christmas & New Year bank holidays
Where is the Temple of Mithras?
London, EC4N 8AA
Best Books on Roman London
This book was suggested to me when I completed the City of London introduction to tour guiding course. This book is a fictional tale of characters living in London throughout the last two thousand years. Although the characters are fictional, historically the book is pretty accurate. It is supposed to represent what it was like to live during London throughout these times. I originally downloaded the book on Audible. However I wasn’t the biggest fan of the narrator. You can listen to a sample of the audiobook version here.
This guide produced by the Museum of London is an excellent guide if you are off exploring Roman London or you are a London resident. It is not a reference guide to Roman London but more of a guidebook in the traditional sense if you are planning on visiting the city and living life as a Roman. You can view the book here on Amazon.