Mithraeum House (Casa del Mitreo) is an impressive Roman house just outside the city walls of Mérida, built at the end of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century AC. The name Mithraeum House is due to the artefacts found there relating to the cult of Mitra.
The house was discovered during the construction of the adjacent plaza de Toros during the sixties. The name is due to its proximity to Mérida’s Mithraeum (a temple erected by the worshipers of Mithras. It is possible that the house belonged to a priest from the temple. Either way, Mithraeum House was a grand residence.
The house has three patios which served for relaxation, illumination and ventilation. The first one is near the entrance comprising an almost square patio with a shady roof supported by four columns. It also features a pond for water collection. Corridors linked the other patios.
The third and furthest patio was a central garden with planted trees and passages decorated with mosaics. A cistern in a large vaulted room was used to store collected water.
Casa del Mitreo was not all built on one level. The remains of a staircase suggest that a first floor was present. Also, some of the surviving rooms are underground; these were possibly restrooms during the hot summers.
When visiting Mithraeum House lookout for the mosaic known as the Cosmological mosaic. It depicts the creation and evolution of Cosmos and contains terrestrial, marine and celestial elements.
Mithraeum House is just one of the archaeological heritage sites of Mérida.