The Jajce Mithraeum is a temple dedicated to the Persian invisible sun god, Mithra. It was rediscovered in an archaeological dig in 1931. The temple dates to the early 4th century AD, although it could be as ancient as the 2nd century AD with repairs undertaken during the early 4th century AD. This particular Mithraeum is one of the best preserved sites in Europe.
Mithra was worshipped throughout the Roman era, from the late Republic to the later Imperial era. The cult of Mithraism spread from the Middle East to other parts of the Roman Empire throughout the Mediterranean basin, at first by military-political adventurers, travelers, slaves and merchants from the Orient. Later, Mithraism was spread by soldiers whose legions came into contact with the followers of the cult in the East.
The Jajce site is a typical spelaea. Mithraism followers typically sought to set up their places of worship in caves. In absence of such topographical features, they excavated the soil and built small single-celled temple (spelaea) to reinforce the impression of a cave.
The temple is now protected by a modern steel-and-girder cage with glass walls that allows visitors to see inside without entering. Visitors can enter with advance notice by contacting the Ethnological Museum of Jajce.
The Jajce Mithraeum is declared a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and, including the old Jajce walled city core, the waterfall and other individual sites outside of the old city perimeter, as part of wider areal designated as The natural and architectural ensemble of Jajce, proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site list.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.