Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale

Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Ravenna is perhaps the most unusual city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna from where I was at the moment. I would not call it the most picturesque, I retain this status for small towns and villages like La Scola or Brisighella, but it is striking in its uniqueness, some kind of chamber atmosphere and the feeling that you were not in the Middle Ages (as is the case with many Italian cities), and in the era of the dawn of Christianity.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

As a prehistory: the first time I visited Ravenna 6 years ago was my first trip to Italy, on the first day from Rimini we were taken first to San Marino and then here. If from San Marino I still have memories of stunning lasagna and objectively beautiful views, then I remember about Ravenna then only that some famous Italian writer was buried there (sorry Dante) and there is a temple of San Vitale, what a coincidence, me also called Vitaly.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, who, here, Dante,SanVital, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, time, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, time, place,

This time I was brought here on the eve of March 8th.The city met me covered with snow, which recently fell not only in Bologna, but also covered the entire region. However, neither the snowdrifts, nor the fog that stood on the first day, nor the rain that did not stop on the second, did not prevent us from enjoying the Equality and its mosaics.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Ravenna is an ancient city, which early enough became a large and important center of the peninsula. Before the arrival of the Romans, the Umber, the Etruscans, the Celts managed to live here, although the real history of these places begins already at the time of the decline of the Roman Republic and the dawn of the Empire. In Ravenna, Julius Caesar waited through the winter of 53-52 years BC. er at the very height of the Gallic War, and a few years later, in the year 49, he gathered troops here before crossing the Rubicon River, starting a civil war, which from the proconsul made him a life dictator.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Port Classis
At the end of the first century BC. er Emperor Augustus strengthened the position of Ravenna even more, placing here the second most important imperial fleet - the Classis Ravennatis. (The first was in Mizen, near modern Naples). Ravenna port was located in the port of Klassis - then a suburb of Ravenna, now its district.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

John William Waterhouse, "Favorites of Emperor Honorius"
When the Roman emperor Theodosius died in 395 AD, the empire was divided between his two sons - Flavius ​​Arkady, who received the Eastern part, Byzantium, and Honorius, who became the ruler of the Western Roman Empire. From Rome, he moved the capital, first to Mediolum (modern Milan), and then to the more fortified Ravenna. It was outside the walls of the Equal walls that Honor sat while the Goths, led by Alaric, ravaged Rome and thereby accelerated the end of the empire.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

From this point on, we will begin our walk at a small cruciform building on the territory of the San Vitale complex. This inconspicuous building is one of the oldest in Ravenna and is called the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (Mausoleo di Galla Placidia). Galla Placidia was the daughter of Theodosius himself, after whose death the empire split into two parts, and the sister of Honorius, the first emperor of the Western Roman Empire. Once in her youth captured by the Ostrogoths, she was married to their king. However, the Ostrogoths had a merry life, so after a year and a half his contented man killed his own man.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

All further adventures of the Gauls would pull for several seasons of a good series.I can only say that it, which so badly began its journey, ultimately actually ruled the entire Western Roman Empire. For a long time it was believed that the mausoleum in Ravenna, she built for herself, her second husband and brother. Moreover, there was a legend that the embalmed remains of Galls lay for a thousand years inside the sarcophagus, which can now be seen inside, until some curious muddler brought the candle too close to Gall's clothes, thereby causing a fire. Now, however, it is believed that the Empress died in Rome and was buried at the place where the present St. Peter's Cathedral stands, and the building itself was a prayer house of the neighboring church.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, who, here, Dante,SanVital, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, time, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, time, place,

However, the mausoleum is interesting not by this, but by its design. Closely associated with Byzantium, Ravenna adopted this element of art and became known primarily due to the numerous mosaics that adorn the main churches of the city.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

I, unfortunately, did not take a picture inside, so I take advantage of what Wikipedia has kindly provided.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Photos, alas, do not convey everything, but the local mosaics really fascinate. It would seem that these are not Michelangelo’s frescoes, but they are striking in their own way and sometimes not less.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

We move in time and space and find ourselves at the Theodoric Palace (or rather, its ruins) - not the most interesting building for tourists, but important in the context of the story.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

This is how the palace looked like at the time of Theodoric. Mosaic in the church of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo
When the empire finally fell and the Goths conquered Italy, they retained Ravenna as their capital. Theodoric, who had become the ruler of the new kingdom, over 33 years of government (yes, an excellent number) greatly helped the city: repaired the old Roman aqueduct, returned the drinking water to the city, drained the marshy areas around the city, put the port in order, which began to decline.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

In general, despite the fact that he began his rise to power in an aggressive way, his rule was a time of peace and economic well-being.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, who, here, Dante,SanVital, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, time, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, time, place,

Today you can get inside for 1 euro, but we came when everything was already closed. However, from the palace for the most part left alone walls. If you stand here to go, then only together with the neighboring temple of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Theodoric was still a great fellow, because he allowed the people of his multi-ethnic kingdom to believe in what they wanted.The fact is that the Ostrogoths were supporters of Arianism - the flow of Christianity, which claimed that God the father and God the son were not the same thing and that there was a time when there was no God the son. The idea arose as early as the 4th century and was quickly declared a heresy, but the Germanic peoples followed it for a long time. Theodoric did not change anything and allowed both Arians and Nicene, or Orthodox to peacefully coexist, as the followers of classical Christianity called then.
As a reminder of this, two buildings have been preserved in Ravenna, the first of them is on the right of the photo.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

(Yes, I again have to upload photos from the phone, but I can't do anything - I forgot my memory card at home and tried to find an open store all Sunday to buy it. Who was in Europe on Sunday knows that this is hopeless).
The first building is the Arian baptistery (Battistero degli Ariani), that is, the place where the babies whose families were Arians were baptized. The baptistery - in general, the construction is quite frequent in Italy, it suffices to recall the famous baptistery in Florence.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

We go inside and take a look up, here again the main character - mosaics. I do not know why, but of all the mosaics of Ravenna, this one in the Arian Baptistery impressed me most. I can not explain, it must be felt.
If we ignore the emotions, then there are a few things to pay attention to. First, the image of the naked Christ, who had not yet acquired the canon we were used to. (I remind you, this is the end of the V - the beginning of the VI centuries). It is important that Jesus does not look to the west, as was the custom of the Orthodox, but to the east, "in Arian style." Second, look at the hands of the apostles — they are all wearing gloves. As i read u
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place
sibeaster, which stunningly described all the wealth of Ravenna, to give presents with hands covered was a Roman tradition, which is reflected in the mosaic.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

I would pay attention to one more detail. The apostles lined up to the empty throne. What it is? Before us is an image of the throne of the prepared, that is, the place where Jesus will sit after his second coming. This is a fairly common image, but another thing is important - there is a shroud on the throne, and this is another indication of the human nature of Christ, which was so important for the Arians.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, who, here, Dante,SanVital, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, time, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, time, place,

Together with the Ostgoths in Ravenna, those who were once citizens of the Roman Empire and who professed orthodox Christianity got along. For them, a little earlier, at the end of the 4th century, their own baptism site was built - the Orthodox Baptistery (Battistero degli Ortodossi), or the Baptistery of Neon by the name of the archbishop, who completed the dome in the middle of the 5th century.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

The plot is similar to what we saw in the Baptistery of the Arians - naked Jesus, facing west, in the waters of the Jordan, which is depicted on the right as a man, on the left is John the Baptist, on top is the Holy Spirit as a dove. All, of course, in the form of mosaics. If you wish, the link can be viewed in 3D.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Emperor Justinian and his court. Mosaic in the church of San Vitale
In Byzantium, they had never been particularly enthusiastic about the fact that Ravenna was in the hands of the Ostrogoths. When Justinian ascended the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire in 527, he decided to return the former Roman lands. Ravenna was first on the list, and Byzantine troops seized it in 539. The city became the capital of the first so-called praetorian prefecture, and then the exarchate - in fact the province of Byzantium.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

With the arrival of Justinian, the oppression of the Arians began, and all their churches were handed over to the Orthodox. A striking example is the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo). It was built in the times of Theodoric as a palace temple - today a pair of buildings separates it from the ruins of the royal chambers.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Inside it is worth going in to see ... That's right, mosaics! Today there is a procession of martyrs and martyrs before Jesus and the Mother of God, although it is said that Theodoric and his court were originally here,but with the advent of the Byzantines in the mosaic made corrections.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

If the men's faces still have some kind of diversity ...
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, who, here, Dante,SanVital, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, time, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, time, place,

... then among women some twins.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Finally, let's see the most famous church of the city - the Basilica of San Vitale (San Vitale) next to the already familiar mausoleum of Galla Placidia. This is perhaps the most distinguished church of the Byzantine period, and it is truly amazing.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

I will again have to use photos from Vika, where there are many high-quality pictures of San Vitale, because otherwise I cannot show all this beauty.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

The most amazing thing about all this beauty is fifteen hundred years.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

In the context of the whole basilica, the later frescoes on the dome also fascinate. In general, we were so impressed that we decided to go to San Vitale the next day.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

What else is left to see in Ravenna? That's right, the grave of Dante Alighieri (Tomba di Dante). The great poet, who for Italian is about the same as Pushkin for Russian, is buried here.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, who, here, Dante,SanVital, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, time, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, time, place,

Dante, who was born in Florence, was expelled from his hometown because of political turmoil. In Ravenna, the author of the "Divine Comedy" has lived the last 3 years. From time to time the poet fulfilled his ambassadorial obligations, going to other Italian cities.Returning from Venice after one of these trips, Dante became ill with malaria and soon died in Ravenna, where he was buried.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

What started next did not exactly dream of Dante in the worst nightmares. After some time, the Florentines realized that they had lost and decided to return to their homeland, if not a living poet, then at least his remains. They were closest to this when the papal throne was occupied by Florentines from the Medici family - first Leo X, then Clement VII. When in 1519, the envoys of Leo X arrived for the remains of Dante, they found an empty sarcophagus. It turned out that the cunning monks, whose building was adjacent to the grave, had dug a hole and had bones of dust carried through it, so as not to give them to the Pope. Despite persuasion, convince them not to remove.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

The second time the monks hid the remains of Dante already during the Napoleonic occupation. They did it so well that they could not find it later, and for the next 50 years, everyone who came to Ravenna to worship the author of the Divine Comedy did it in front of an empty sarcophagus. In 1865, the bones were found again, although they were almost accidentally sent to a mass grave - ironically, all this happened during the preparation for the 600th anniversary of the poet’s birth.I was lucky that one competent student drew attention to the inscription "ossa Dantis ..", that is, "Dante's bones."
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

The grave of Dante is located next to the inconspicuous, albeit ancient Basilica di San Francesco.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Look inside, there is a unique crypt, completely flooded by groundwater. It is curious to observe how fish float above old mosaics,
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Finishing up, there is a nice place nearby - the Palazzo della Provincia, where the curious and small museum La Cripta Rasponi e i Giardini Pensili is open today. In fact, it is the home of a noble, equal family that has laid out hanging gardens overlooking the city.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, who, here, Dante,SanVital, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, time, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, time, place,

We were here in inappropriate weather, but imagine how beautiful it is when everything blooms. If you have time and extra 2 euros, look here.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

How to get to Ravenna
You can get to Ravenna by train from Bologna (1.5 hours, 7.35 euros), Rimini (1 hour, 4.75 euros) and Florence (2-3 hours, about 15 euros). It is clear that if you wish, you can get from any village, but for a tourist trip these are the best landmarks.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Where to stay in Ravenna
We booked one night at a B & B called Ai Giardini di San Vitale. It is located 5 minutes from San Vitale, which follows from the name, although you will have to walk from the station.The hotel occupies the building of the former church and looks very interesting. Perhaps the most amazing thing is the staff. The owner of the hotel personally took me in his car to the photo shop, so I bought a flash drive for the camera, and then returned me back. To spend the night here will cost 70-120 euros depending on the season.
Ravenna: Mosaics, Dante and San Vitale Ravenna, which, here, Dante, time, San Vitale, Ravenna, church, Ravenna, Roman, can, Florence, Galla, stands, city, empire, city, city, place

Where to eat in Ravenna
Ravenna is part of the Emilia-Romagna region, famous for its rich and sometimes fatty cuisine. The most famous case is piadina (piadina), a toasted tortilla with a filling. For her, it is worth going toLa Piadina del Melarancio,where is really a great selection of piadin. Of those that I have tried, they are decent - classic with arugula, soft cheese and prosciutto crudo and vegetarian with grilled vegetables. A big plus of this place is that it works without a traditional Italian lunch break.
For dinner, you can go toOsteria Taberna Boaria- A curious place with its menu. In Italy, I lost the habit of Moscow menus who are trying to offer something new and unusual. The typical Italian set is carbonara, amaratrica, bolognese + local varieties. ATOsteria Taberna Boariawe decided not to go along the beaten track and made a menu with historical dishes. For example,Pasatel al Garum (Passatelli al Garum) is served here - pasta with garum fish sauce, which in ancient Rome was made from fish waste and blood. The smell was so specific that it was forbidden to cook in the city. (If interested, here is an article from a man from Tomsk who got confused and prepared a garum at home).





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