The Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, built by Theoderic (493-526) next to his palace, was originally used as a Palatine Church of Arian religion. After the Byzantine reconquest and consecration to the orthodox faith (mid-6th century), the Basilica was dedicated to St. Martin, bishop of Tours. Tradition has it that in the 9th century the relics of St. Apollinaris were removed from the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe and transported here. On that occasion, the church was dedicated to Saint Apollinaris and called “Nuovo” (new) in order to differentiate it from the church of the same name in Classe.
The gabled façade of the Basilica is marked by two side pilasters and provided with a mullioned window, topped by two small openings. Originally, it was probably delimited by a four-sided porch; today it is decorated with a simple but well-balanced 16th-century marble porch. On the right side of the façade rises a cylindrical bell-tower dating back to the 9th or 10th century.
Inside the building, you can admire the magnificent mosaic decoration of the original church documenting the stylistic, iconographical and ideological evolution of Byzantine wall mosaics from the era of Theoderic to that of Justinian. The 26 Christological scenes from the period of Theoderic are one of the biggest monumental cycles and, at the same time, the most ancient original mosaic work on the New Testament of all times.
The Basilica is closed until Monday 13 April 2020
The combined ticket includes the entry to Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Neonian Baptistery, Basilica of San Vitale, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia,** and Archiepiscopal Museum and Chapel. The ticket is valid for 7 consecutive days from the date of issue and entitles the holder to one entry for each monument
* Valid for Italian and foreign students during the school year; valid for organizations with special agreements (see details)
** From March 1st to June 15th, an additional charge of €2 applies to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. Mandatory booking for groups. The charge applies also to children over 6 and residents of Ravenna.
Children up to 10 years, citizens of Ravenna (with valid document), disabled people with certified disability over 74% or "Carta Bianca" holders, ecclesiastics, soldiers, tourist guides of Region Emilia-Romagna at work. Journalists must request free admission in advance to the Opera di Religione by writing to email@example.com
For groups: 1 free tour leader every 20 paying visitors. For schools: 1 free teacher every 10 paying students
The entrance of the Basilica is wheelchair accessible
The Basilica is situated in the controlled traffic zone of the city centre. Bus stop for all city lines 200m away, parking space for coaches 200m away, car park 100m away, railway station 700m away. Close to City Art Gallery, Theodoric's Palace and S. Maria in Porto
Edited by the editorial team
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Last modified date: 07/04/2020