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 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.
Until 25th March: every day 9.30am - 5.30pm
From 26th March: every day 9am - 7pm
Last admittance: 15 minutes before closing time.
The Basilica is closed on 25th December and 1st January.
On Sunday, 12th June the Basilica will remain closed for guided tours from 11am to 1pm, because of the celebration of the mass organized in occasion of Ravenna Festival. Last admission at 10.45am.
On Sunday, 19th June the Basilica will close at 6pm. Last admission at 5.45pm.
The 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.
* 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.
Free of charge
Children up to 10 years, citizens of Ravenna, disabled people and carers, ecclesiastics, soldiers, journalists (with document). 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.
How to get there
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.
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Last modified date: 25/05/2016