Ravenna: Basilica of San Vitale and Mausoleo di Galla Placidia

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The Basilica of San Vitale (Basilica of St. Vitale; Church of Saint Vitale) and the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia (Galla Placidia Mausoleum; Mausoleum of Galla Placidia) are both UNESCO World Heritage sites and located near each other in Ravenna, Italy. The Basilica of San Vitale was built in the 6th century and is one of the most important surviving examples of Byzantine architecture and mosaics. Like most historic structures, renovations occurred over the centuries. The Mausoleo di Galla Placidia is one of two symmetrical brick chapels that were originally built on the ends of the 5th century Church of Santa Croce at the behest of the Theodosian Empress Galla Placidia, but it is the only one that remains today after its separation from the church in 1602. Galla Placidia was the daughter of Theodosius the Great. She was regent ruler in place of her son (Valentian III), who had been entrusted with the government of the Western Roman Empire. Despite its name, this site does not contain the remains of Galla Placidia, who was buried in Rome. The chapel has a cruciform floor plan and the interior is covered in rich mosaics. Photos in this collection were taken by Dr. Beth M. Sheppard in 2017. Metadata cataloging was completed by Shelley Rogers.


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