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06.01.2016
Nick Catford is a world-renowned cameraman and is probably the most accomplished subterranean photographer working today, specialising in sites of cold-war, military and industrial archaeological interest. He is the custodian of the highly authoritative Subterranea Brittanica website, the accuracy and depth of research of which has gained the respect of the general public, the media and government bodies alike. Nick Catford contributes frequently to the media on the history of Britain's military and cold-war underground infrastructure. Included in this book is a miscellany of sites, from the disused tube stations and closed sections of the London underground railway system, many of which were given some other lease of life, to the secret central government and military bunkers - operations rooms and control centres - which protected London against the German bombers during the Second World War. This large-format volume contains approximately 400 archive and colour photographs, accompanied by comprehensive captions and an authoritative text. Nick Catford was granted unprecedented access to many of the sites in order to compile the collection of images reproduced in this book.


Hidden below ground next to the famous racetrack, the ancient mithraeum remained a secret for centuries. We can't be exactly sure what Mithraic followers did in sanctuaries like the one beneath Circus Maximus.
The book also tells the story of London's Cold War bunkers, never used in anger; and similarly the more modest Royal Observer Corps posts. But few things are more surprising than descending down a stairwell in a nondescript building… only to find such well-preserved ancient chambers! What we do know is that Mithraism seems to have come into existence, at least in its Roman form, in the first century. That means you can experience the space almost as ancient worshipers would, perhaps sneaking in here as crowds cheered at the Circus Maximus next door.


They're so well-preserved you can still walk beneath the same brick arches and tread on the same floor, with its inlaid marble pattern, as the ancient worshipers. That might be because it was just too similar to another religion on the rise: Christianity.
Unlike so many other ancient ruins, you can get a real feel for what the building would have felt like. The coop Il Sogno also offers tours of the mithraeum, and you can pick the time — they start at €80 for 1 to 4 adults.



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