Marvellous mosaics …. in Ravenna/Classe

Marvellous mosaics …. in Ravenna/Classe

A short history and background : ” Ravenna rose to power in the 1st century BC under the Emperor Augustus, who built a port and naval base at nearby Classe.  As Rome’s power declined, Ravenna was made the capital of the Western Empire (AD 402) a role retained during the Ostrogoth and Byzantine rule in the 5th and 6th centuries.  Ravenna is renowned for its early Christian mosaics dating back to 6th century and span the years of Roman and Byzantine rule. ”

Our tour group visited the Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare in Classe (just outside Ravenna), which was commissioned by Archbishop Ursicino and built by Giuliano Argentario during the first half of the 6th century.

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UNESCO inscribed eight Ravenna sites on the World Heritage List, one of them being this basilica as  ” an outstanding example of the early Christian basilica in its purity and simplicity of its design and use of space and in the sumptuous nature of its decoration”

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Bell tower built in the 9th century ..

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Statue of Emperor Augustus in the grounds ..

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Apse mosaic is from 6th century ..  absolutely beautiful !!!!

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24 columns of Greek marble ..

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There are only a few cordoned off sections, of the original floor.  Coins are tossed onto it (no idea why) but we tossed our coin too 😉

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Incredible to think that these were laid in the 6th century  !!!!

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This is another section, lower than the present day floor,  at the back of the church ..

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Along the aisles are sarcophagi of archbishops …

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Memento from Ravenna – copy of mosaic found in Mausoleo di Galla Placidia – which we didn’t see but I like the birds and the colours ..

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After a bite to eat in a café/restaurant within walking distance of the basilica, we made our way to Venice.   To add here .. all the stops were wonderful.  Very clean and efficient.  If we stopped for a lunches, they are highly organised for tour buses.   A variety of fresh food is available on a help-yourself-basis – canteen style.

Trafalgar Tours : Best of Italy : June 2013

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