Mérida, considered the cradle of Roman heritage in Spain, is home to numerous archaeological monuments, and among them the Casa del Mitreo stands out. This ancient Roman residence, which evokes both mystery and splendour, is located just a few steps from the heart of the city and invites us to step back in time.
History of the Casa del Mitreo
Origins and Construction
Located on the outskirts of Augusta Emerita (the ancient name of Mérida), the Casa del Mitreo was built between the late 1st and early 2nd centuries. Although its name suggests an association with the cult of Mithras, a Persian god that became popular in the Roman Empire, it is likely that this house belonged to a high-ranking Roman family.
The design of the house, with its rooms arranged around three courtyards and exquisite decoration, testifies to the opulence and status of its owners in Emerit society.
Among the most outstanding finds in the Casa del Mitreo is the Cosmological Mosaic, a masterpiece depicting the world and the elements of nature. This mosaic not only demonstrates the skill of the craftsmen of the time but also offers an insight into the Roman understanding of the universe.
Recognition and Conservation
The significant importance of the Casa del Mitreo for the historical and cultural heritage of Spain was officially recognised on 14th September 1990, when it was declared Bien de Interés Cultural con categoría de zona arqueológica.
Since then, consistent efforts have been made to conserve and restore the structure, allowing current and future generations to appreciate and learn from this archaeological testimony.
Interesting facts and figures
- Cosmological Mosaic: Without a doubt, one of the most precious treasures of the house is the Cosmological Mosaic. This intricate work of art depicts the world and the elements of nature, showing the deep artistic knowledge and appreciation of the time.
- Declaration of an Asset of Interest: The importance of the Casa del Mitreo was officially recognised when it was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest with the category of archaeological site on 14 September 1990.
- Urban Design: What makes the Casa del Mitreo even more special is its position in the current urban structure of Mérida, being free of buildings on all sides.
Free tour of the Casa del Mitreo – The best guided tour
Our tour will start in front of the main gate of the Plaza de Toros de Mérida, an emblematic point of the city. At the agreed time, the guide will be waiting for you to start this historical exploration.
This majestic building dates back to the 1st century AD. During the tour, the guide will share fascinating stories about the place: Who lived here? What was the purpose of this building? One of the main gems of the visit is the Cosmological Mosaic, an artistic testimony to the Roman understanding of the universe.
After immersing ourselves in the House of the Mithraeum, we will take a few steps towards the Columbarium Funerary Area. This burial space offers a unique insight into the funerary practices and beliefs of ancient Rome. A chapter you won’t want to miss.
- Duration: Approximately 1h 30m.
- Language: English.
- Inclusion: Guide in English, entrance to the Casa del Mitreo and the Funerary Area of Columbariums.
- Price: Being a free tour, there is no set price. However, it is expected that at the end of the tour, participants will value the service and leave a tip according to their satisfaction.
- Groups: This tour is suitable for small groups. If you are more than 6 people, consider opting for a private tour.
- Reservations: You can make your reservation up to 2 hours before the start, subject to availability.
Frequently asked questions
You can take a free guided tour of the Casa del Mitreo by booking here.
Yes, free access is available.
Summer opening hours (1 April to 30 September): 9:00 am to 9:00 pm daily. Winter opening hours (1 October to 30 March): 9:00 am to 6:30 pm daily.
Of course! Check out the best guided tours in Merida.
The Casa del Mitreo is located at Calle Oviedo s/n, 06800 Mérida, Spain. The monument can be reached from the city centre by following Calle Oviedo to the end. See the exact location here.