The London Mithraeum

The London Mithraeum

Ever wondered about the origins of London?  Then head for the London Mithraeum at Bloomberg Space near the Bank of England for some surprising insights.

Book a stay at the Presidential Marylebone Mayfair and take a look at the amazing displays of archaeological items found on the site.  Over 500 items are displayed in an eye catching cabinet. These include a tablet dating back to AD 70 which contains the earliest known reference to London, or Londinium as it was called by the Romans. Until the arrival of the Romans in 43 AD, there was no settlement on this site although there were some local people living in the area.  The Romans were impressed by this crossing point on the banks of the river, and decided that this was where they were going to build a new city. 

Londinium quickly became a centre of commerce.  Also on display in the Mithraeum is an even earlier writing tablet which is an IOU about money lending! Since the main business of the city of London has always been in money and banking, the tablet marks the start of this commercial history.

The London Mithaeum is well worth a visit while a resident at any of the Holiday Apartments London.  Apart from seeing these incredibly ancient Roman artifacts, the Mithraeum itself has been hidden from view for many years.  Initially discovered in the aftermath of the Second World War, it was moved from its original site and placed on display elsewhere and virtually ignored.  Now it has been returned to its original home, and rebuilt almost exactly where it was found.

Walking down the stairs is a true journey through time as each successive historical layer is highlighted. Eventually you reach the fourth century when the Mithraeum was built and you step out into darkness. Slowly the lights rise, revealing a hazy mist, tall columns of light begin to emerge revealing the height and outlines of the Mithraeum even as voices chant long forgotten rituals to the god Mithras in Latin. 

It is extremely atmospheric.  Stroll around the ruins and see just how big this temple of Mithras would have been.  It would also have been extremely important as it was a cult that appealed to the merchants, soldiers and administrators.

Close by is an art gallery exhibiting contemporary art works based on the site’s links to the Romans and Mithras.  Free to enter, the Mithraeum is a new and fascinating place to visit giving glimpses into the world of Roman London.

So, if you are coming to London and planning to stay for some time then serviced apartments London might be a great choice for you.