Basilica di San Francesco, Ravenna, Ravenna

(4.1/5 based on 420+ reviews on the web)
Built between the 9th and 10th centuries in the Early Christian style, Basilica di San Francesco, Ravenna is an understated Catholic church with a fascinating twist. Changing sea levels resulted in the original floor of the church flooding, so the mosaic floor and crypt lie underwater. The sunken crypt sparkles with coins strewn across the floor, and large goldfish swim through the waters. For an extra euro, you can illuminate the floor for a better view. The church also houses a beautiful pipe organ. For Basilica di San Francesco, Ravenna and beyond, use our Ravenna tourist route planner to get the most from your Ravenna vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It may be interesting to see the crypt-now under water-where was named Dante Alighieri. Although there are no specific artworks, it exudes the calm atmosphere of "Dante's zone".
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  • Breathtaking in all its aspects. Just bathe in the peace and quiet and workmanship of aeons ago. My second visit to Ravenna 30 years apart and everything is thankfully just as well preserved.  more »
  • Although the Church itself is an example of architecture from the 10th century, the special feature is the crypt under the altar: for 1 euro you can turn on the light that illuminates the room, supported by four columns and constantly underwater, where they swim some beautiful minnows [that besides being beautiful are functional, you use put even in water purifiers for control purposes]. Underneath the water there are mosaics, which are seen very well. The entrance to the Church is free, the only thing to pay [wanting] is the light in time, but it lasts a long time.
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