One of the early regents was Galla Placidia, a daughter of Roman Emperor Theodosius I and evidently a formidable and well-traveled woman. (This article about her is daunting to say the least.) She was also a fervent Christian and is credited with building the oldest extant church in Ravenna, San Giovanni Evangelista, in the early 5th century. Well, it is extant, but not much of the original remains after a Gothic-style rebuild in 1213, stripping of mosaics in the 18th c., disassembly and reconstruction due to sinking 3 or 4 meters, and WW II bombing and rebuilding. A remnant of the 5th c. floor remains on display along with quite a few samples of the 13th c. floor that came to light after the bomb blasts.
|San Giovanni Evangelista, 13th c. portal.|
|A few remains of the ancient building.|
|World War II bomb damage|
|Original 5th century floor remnant|
|Scenes of the crusades from 13th c. floor remnants of|
San Giovanni Evangelista
|Mausoleum of Galla Placidia|
|Mausoleum central dome w/ symbols of the evangelists at the corners.|
|Saint Lawrence and his place of martyrdom or, depending on the scholar,|
St Vincent of Saragossa revealing his books to be burned.
|Vault of the entry passage to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia|
|San Vitale apse. At far left is S. Vitale himself. At right is Bishop Ecclesius offering a model of the church.|
|San Vitale north presbytery panel with Old Testament scenes.|
|Empress Theodora with a prelate and attendants.|
|Empress Theodora detail.|
|Emperor Justinian and retinue.|
|San Vitale. No flat surface left undecorated.|
|San Vitale floor mosaic.|
|San Vitale labyrinth.|
|San Vitale from the outside. The flying buttresses were added as|
the building sank into the marshy earth.
Due to some technical restrictions, I've split this topic into two posts.
See Ravenna, part 2 for the continuation.