Mausoleum of Theodoric
Theodoric the Great, king of Italy and of the Ostrogoths, was buried in this beautiful white marble mausoleum in August 526. Just 14 years later the Eastern Romans conquered his kingdom's capital, Ravenna, and they desecrated his tomb and scattered his bones. As a further offense to the Arian king, they turned the tomb into a Nicaean oratory.
The colossal bronze statue of Theodoric on horseback, facing the mausoleum, was taken to Aachen by Charlemagne, and from the late Middle Ages the popes let the tomb go into ruins, losing its beautiful columns and arches - they who found the simple notion of a king in Italy a threat to their independence.
The tomb found some protection only after the unification of Italy, and it is now a national monument open to tourists.