The London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space

Attractions, Historic buildings and sites Bank
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
1/2
2/2

See a restored Roman temple in the basement of the Bloomberg HQ

When it was discovered in the shell of a bombsite near Mansion House in 1954, the remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras had Londoners transfixed. It was all over the news, attracting 30,000 visitors. Then the whole thing was dismantled to make way for post-war construction and moved 100 metres away – pride of place on the roof of a car park, with very non-Roman crazy paving on the floor.

In 2009, tech and media giant Bloomberg bought up the original location to build its multi-million-pound HQ, and announced plans to ‘rebuild’ the Temple of Mithras. It delivered: inside that glossy waffle-shaped building is a full reconstruction of the original temple, part of the three-storey London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space, now open to the public. 

On the first floor, impressive artefacts discovered during the archaeological dig of the site are displayed behind glass. Among the worn leather shoes and broken pots, you’ll  find a wooden tablet from AD 57, with marks on its surface: one of the oldest handwritten documents found in the UK.

The main event is found below ground level: an atmospheric reimagining of the  temple, built with the help of mud casts and archive material.

Almost 1,800 years ago, this room was the home of the men-only cult of Mithras, a place to drink, misbehave and worship the ‘god of Mithra’, a deity known for slaying a primordial bull. It was a bit like gentlemen’s club, so it should fit right in with the financial district. Thankfully, women are welcome in the Bloomberg version.

Inside, clever audio installations that hang from the roof evoke the Roman spectres with the sound of chanting in Latin, while the light fades in and out over the dusty ‘ruins’. This is much more than some recondite academic venture: it’s the closest most of us will come to experiencing ‘Londinium’. And there’s no crazy paving in sight.

By: Katie McCabe

Posted:

Venue name: The London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space
Contact:
Address: 12 Walbrook
London
EC4N 8AA
Opening hours: Tue to Sat: 10am to 6pm, Sun/Bank holidays: 12noon to 5pm, first Thursday of the month 10am to 8pm
Price: Free
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|3
2 people listening
Tastemaker

The Mithraeum is right up there as one of London's greatest hidden gems. It's almost secret. 


This restored Roman temple was discovered not too long ago in 1954 and was dedicated to the roman God, Mithra. This temple was home to the men-only cult club that worshipped the God. It was a bit of a gentleman's club if you will.


When I first heard of it and stepped inside, I was amazed I'd never, ever heard of it before. It's hardly mentioned anywhere and unless you're close to it (3 minutes walk from Bank tube station) you might never have heard it too.


Thankfully, the good people at Bloomberg has restored the temple and is open to the public to visit for FREE. 


On the first floor, I saw a display of artefacts discovered when the temple was unearthed. The main event is below ground level where the temple lives. The temple is reimagined in an atmospheric room with audio speakers hanging above you to evoke the spectre that would have been thousands of years ago with the chanting of Latin while light fades in and out.


The visit will be short - I was in an out in 40 minutes - but it's so worth visiting. It's one of few places where you get to experience 'Londinium.'

Tastemaker

A fantastic immersive experience which shows off one of London's rarest and least understood cults who worshiped Mithras. The temple has recently been restored at its original site beneath Bloomberg. With an interactive show displaying the ruins and large display of the finds it is well worth a visit, and will only take you an hour as it is fairly small. Very interesting!

Tastemaker

I thought this was brilliant. Smack dab in the middle of the City lies ancient ruins and you don't have to pay a pence to see it. You can book tickets online or rock up to see if they have any open slots. They give you an ipad which has pictures relating to items on the wall of items they found whilst diggin up London, including the earliest known recorded financial transaction in London *swoon*

Then you get to go downstairs to the temple ruins. How they used lighting to convey what it would have looked like is very impressive. 

A good place to go if you have 30-45 minutes to spare. Well done Bloomberg!

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...