Long before pubs, cocktail bars and gentlemen clubs were available in London, it was temples you went to for a drink or two, some misbehaving without being frowned upon by the Mrs and also to worship the god Mithras. Sadly, the temple isn’t open no more, and even worse it was buried under hundreds of tons of dirt until it was uncovered in the 1950s – after which it was moved away, but has since returned to its original spot for us to enjoy in all its glory.
The London Mithraeum houses the remaining of the Roman Temple of Mithras and a selection of Roman Artefacts. Since it was free I was expecting a cold, minimal hall where you’d be guided through quickly as possible, but these guys went all out with their presentation and used darkness, sound and light to recreate the structure and really bring the temple to live.
Another nice touch was the wall displaying 600 (out of 14,000 found) Roman artefacts discovered in the 2010-14 archaeological dig undertaken ahead of the construction of the office building. Everything from coins to combs and even shoes, all displayed amid a giant art piece depicting London back in the day.
Want to experience this bit of Londinium? The London Mithraeum is located in the ‘City’ (east of the main Picaddily/Oxford Street central area), it’s a 2 minute walk from the Bank station – and the entrance is free, but make sure you book your visit in advance.