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Basilica San Vitale, Ravenna

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.9/5 based on 2,200+ reviews on the web
Considered a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, Basilica San Vitale was built during the 6th century and is today inscribed on the World Heritage List. The church contains what are possibly the finest mosaics in Europe, the largest and best preserved examples of this art form outside of Constantinople. These mosaics were executed in the Hellenistic-Roman tradition, which focused on lively and imaginative depictions, with rich colors and a vivid portrayal of landscapes, plants, and birds. One of the site's two major mosaic panels depicts Emperor Justinian I flanked by his court officials, while the other shows his wife, Theodora, with a train of her court ladies. This site is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from its time period to have survived virtually intact to the present day. After your first visit, hold on to your ticket: it’s valid for seven days.  Put Basilica San Vitale and other Ravenna attractions into our Ravenna trip generator, and watch your holiday take shape.
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  • When you enter and look up ... be speechless and the beauty of the mosaics grabs you and doesn't let more for about ten seconds.
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  • What about ... crazy, maybe visit mosaics with vista Wizard to appreciate them even more.
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  • I visited the basilica alone, living near Ravenna and studying cultural heritage already there I had been and I knew her. I can always get lost in the beauty of its mosaics, so unique and full of history that we should be there at least a few hours and talk with a guide to fully understand them. In addition to visit should you do one ticket that includes the mausoleum of Galla Glacidia, the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare, the neonian baptistery and the archiepiscopal Museum: all about 9 euros (if I remember correctly were 8 with discount). I highly recommend it!
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  • Inside this church there are really wonderful mosaics typical of Ravenna and a really beautiful internal garden with grapes and palms. It's a must-see if you are visiting Ravenna.
  • Although it is referred as basilica, it is not. Architecturally a basilica is rectangular. The church of San Vitale (built between 526 and 547 AD) is octagonal, an early Byzantine art and architecture having several Roman elements. The church is most famous for its wealth of Byzantine mosaics, the largest and best preserved outside of Constantinople. The church is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from the period of the Emperor Justinian I to survive virtually intact to the present day. The visit to this beautiful building is most recommended.
  • Wonderful, unique mosaics. Bright, vivid colours. A must see when in town.
  • Despite the huge competition this was for me the highlight in Ravenna. Such masterful mosaics!
  • Absolutely incredible. One of the most beautiful buildings I've seen in my life. I just sat and stared upward for almost an hour.
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