- Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building - http://inhabitat.com -

Ancient Mithraeum of Caracalla Opens to the Public For the First Time Since the 19th Century

Posted By Lori Zimmer On December 10, 2012 @ 5:24 pm In Architecture,carousel showcase,Conservation,Environment,Gallery | No Comments

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Baths of Caracalla, Mithraeum, Mithraeum of Caracalla, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Marina Piranomonte [1]

Discovered only a century ago, the underground Mithraeum of Caracalla was once a worship center for the religious cult of Mithraism [2]. Left untouched for centuries, and even a century after its discovery, the renovations of the space began a year ago under the leadership of director Marina Piranomonte. The construction began with installing skylights [3] to the windowless antechambers, but the new introduction to sun light caused algae to form in the previously sealed tunnels.

The skylights were then sealed while restoration was completed. The walls and ceilings were scrubbed of the new algae [4], a collapsed vault was restored and a temporary lighting system was installed. Although most of the temple’s original décor was gone, a small fresco of Mithra was found and restored, as well as the original altar used by worshippers.

The Baths of Caracalla were built in AD 216, and were used until the 19th Century. Fed by the Aqua Marcia aqueduct, the waters were heated by a coal burning hypocaust system [5] located below the pools. A public library was also on site with Latin and Greek texts. Many Mithraeums have been discovered under existing buildings from the first to fourth centuries AD.

The public will have a chance to be some of the only visitors to thee Mithraeum of Caracalla since ancient times [6], but only until January. The tours include special programming, guided tours and audioguides. Artist Michelangelo Pistoletto has also been commissioned to install his Il Terzo Paradiso on the Bath’s lawn, to commemorate the opening of the Mithraeum.

+ Tickets for Mithraeum of Caracalla [7]

Via The Art Newspaper [8]

Article printed from Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com

URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/ancient-mithraeum-of-caracalla-open-to-the-public-for-the-first-time-since-the-19th-century/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/ancient-mithraeum-of-caracalla-open-to-the-public-for-the-first-time-since-the-19th-century/baths-of-caracalla1/

[2] Mithraism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraic_mysteries

[3] skylights: http://inhabitat.com/solar-tube/

[4] new algae: http://inhabitat.com/urban-algae-farms-could-heat-buildings-while-treating-wastewater/

[5] hypocaust system: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocaust

[6] ancient times: http://inhabitat.com/yunak-evleri-is-a-5-star-hotel-built-into-ancient-caves/new-19-12/

[7] + Tickets for Mithraeum of Caracalla: http://www.coopculture.it/events.cfm?id=54

[8] The Art Newspaper: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/Ancient+tunnels+in+Rome+reopen+to+the+public/28073

Copyright © 2011 Inhabitat Local - New York. All rights reserved.