Fodor's Expert Review Mausoleo di Galla Placidia

Ravenna Religious Building/Site/Shrine Fodor's Choice

The little tomb and the great church stand side by side, but the tomb predates the Basilica di San Vitale by at least 100 years: these two adjacent sights are decorated with the best-known, most elaborate mosaics in Ravenna. Galla Placidia was the sister of the Roman emperor Honorius, who moved the imperial capital to Ravenna in AD 402. This mid-5th century mausoleum is her memorial.

The simple redbrick exterior only serves to enhance by contrast the richness of the interior mosaics, in deep midnight blue and glittering gold. The tiny central dome is decorated with symbols of Christ, the evangelists, and striking gold stars. Eight of the Apostles are represented in groups of two on the four inner walls of the dome; the other four appear singly on the walls of the two transepts. There are three sarcophagi in the tomb, none of which are believed to actually contain the remains of Galla Placidia. Visit early or late in the day to avoid the school groups that can sometimes swamp the... READ MORE

The little tomb and the great church stand side by side, but the tomb predates the Basilica di San Vitale by at least 100 years: these two adjacent sights are decorated with the best-known, most elaborate mosaics in Ravenna. Galla Placidia was the sister of the Roman emperor Honorius, who moved the imperial capital to Ravenna in AD 402. This mid-5th century mausoleum is her memorial.

The simple redbrick exterior only serves to enhance by contrast the richness of the interior mosaics, in deep midnight blue and glittering gold. The tiny central dome is decorated with symbols of Christ, the evangelists, and striking gold stars. Eight of the Apostles are represented in groups of two on the four inner walls of the dome; the other four appear singly on the walls of the two transepts. There are three sarcophagi in the tomb, none of which are believed to actually contain the remains of Galla Placidia. Visit early or late in the day to avoid the school groups that can sometimes swamp the Mausoleo from March through mid-June.

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Quick Facts

Via San Vitale
Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna  48121, Italy

0544-541688-for reservations

www.ravennamosaici.it

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €9.50 combination ticket, includes 4–5 diocesan monuments (€2 supplement for mausoleum Mar.–mid-June)

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