In 1954, the Roman Temple of Mithras, built almost 1,800 years ago, was discovered by chance on a blitz bomb site in Walbrook in London. It became a public attraction with 30,000 visitors per day for two weeks. It was later dismantled and roughly reconstructed on a new location in the 1960s. When Bloomberg acquired the site in 2010 for construction of its new European headquarters, they were committed to reconstructing the temple faithfully.
Bloomberg worked with a team of conservation specialists and MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), and hired design firm Local Projects to rebuild the temple at its original site, which is seven metres below normal street level. The three-storey space is planned to provide the best version of a visitor’s journey: at street-level, contemporary art reflecting the history of the site and a vitrine displaying over 600 Roman artefacts found during excavations on site. Introduction of the temple is found on the floor below, supported with projections and interactive kiosks. The bottom floor is the temple itself, which is dimmed and has no written information. With directed lights, haze and sound the temple’s remains are brought to life within the cave-like walls.
The London Mithraeum will open to the public starting from November 14th. It is free to visit but booking is required for guaranteed entry and can be arranged through their website.