Ravenna Italy
Ravenna rose to power in the 1st century BC. under the Emperor Augustus, who built a port and naval base at nearby Classe. As Rome's power declined, Ravenna was made the capital of the Western Empire (AD492), a role it retained under the rule of the Ostrogoths and Byzantines in the 5th and 6th centuries. Ravenna is renowned for its early Christian mosaics- the town had converted to Christianity in the 2nd century AD. The mosaics span the years of Roman and Byzantine rule. In 493, Ravenna was occupied by Theodoric who ruled for thirty years. During his reign many great monuments were built. In 540, the Byzantine army commanded by Belisarius captured Ravenna and put an end to the reign of the Goths. The city flourished under the rule of Justinian whose ambition was to reunite East and West both politically and culturally. Here are some of the splendid images from the churches and monuments that make Ravenna a city not to be missed while in northern Italy.

San Vitale : Pictures 1-25. The most glorious example of Byzantine art in the West. Bishop Ecclesio founded San Vitale after his journey to Constantinople in 525. Giuliano Argentario, a rich banker financed San Vitale. The basilica was concecrated on April 19, 548. No flash or tripod. San Vitale is very dark and the light changes constantly thus the variations in photos.

San Apollinare In Classe: 8 pics.
26-33. The church's plain outer walls are a model of simplicity, based on the arrangement of long, narrow bricks held together by limestone, producing a colourful red and white shaped effect. The mosaics in the conch of the apse, completed towards the mid-6th century is the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor.
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