Official Tourist Information Site
city of Ravenna

Chapel of Sant’Andrea – Archiepiscopal Chapel

Piazza Arcivescovado, 1 - Ravenna
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The Cappella Arcivescovile or di Sant’Andrea, which can be accessed through the museum of Palazzo Arcivescovile, is on the first floor.

It is the only Orthodox monument built by Bishop Peter II, as a private oratory of the Catholic bishops during the reign of Theodoric. Bishops have prayed and celebrated here from Antiquity to the present day.

Built at the beginning of the fifth century, the chapel was dedicated to Christ and the whole decorative scheme glorifies this figure in an anti-Arian interpretation.

The presence of the Saviour as a warrior with the cross borne on his shoulder, his monogram and his face, dominate in various parts of the chapel. The images of martyrs, apostles and evangelists also contribute to underline the theme of glorification, as an affirmation of Catholic orthodoxy.

Likewise, the Latin inscription in the vestibule, which reads: “Either light was born here or it was captured, [either way, here it] reigns freely” (“Aut lux hic nata est aut capta hic libera regnat”), most likely referring to the Orthodox light, is in sharp contrast to Arianism and, at the same time, is reflected in the radiance of the mosaics.

Later, the chapel was named after Saint Andrew, whose relics arrived here from Constantinople around the middle of the sixth century.



The museum and the ivory chair of Maximian

Rebuilt in modern times in continuity with the ancient building behind the Duomo that was used as the residence of Bishop Orso (fourth – fifth century A.D.), formerly the cathedral of Ravenna in its original fifth century location, Palazzo Arcivescovile today houses a small, but valuable, two-storey museum which, with a few well furnished rooms, houses and protects the Cappella di Sant’Andrea.

If the first room of the museum is entirely occupied by a rich collection of marbles from the ancient Basilica Ursiana, saved by Archbishop Maffeo Niccolò Farsetti during the major eighteenth century renovations, the visitor’s attention is drawn to the world renown ivory chair of Archbishop Maximian, displayed in the next room beside the cappella di Sant’Andrea.

The chair consists of an ebony frame on which 27 ivory panels (which must have been 39 originally) were applied by at least four different artists. They are finely carved with plant-like decorations, depicting scenes inspired by the Old and New Testaments.

We do not know exactly where this marvellous seat was originally placed, but for a period of time it was certainly located in the space annexed to the choir of the ancient cathedral, before it was removed in 1773 to make room for the sacristy.

In the centre, in the front part, the chair is engraved with the monogram of Maximianus, Prelate of Ravenna (546-556) in the age of Justinian.

Further information

opening hours

Pursuant to the Decree of the Prime Minister of the Italian Republic (3 November 2020), all the Diocesan monuments will be closed to the public until further notice.


Ticket: €10.50
Concession: €9.50 (*)
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)
** There is an additional charge of €2 that applies to access the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and Neonian Baptistery. Mandatory booking for groups. The charge applies also to children over 6 and residents of Ravenna.

Tickets can be booked online or by contacting the Reservations Center

In addition, tickets can also be purchased on the day of visit at the ticket offices located in each monumental complex:
• Archiepiscopal Museum, Piazza Arcivescovado 1
• Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Via di Roma 53
• Basilica of San Vitale, Via Argentario 22

For further information:


Children up to 10 years, citizens of Ravenna (with a 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

For groups: 1 free tour leader every 20 paying visitors. For schools: 1 free teacher every 10 paying students


The Chapel is accessible for disabled people

Come Arrivare

The Chapel is situated in the controlled traffic zone of the city centre. Bus stop 200m away (all lines); car park 50m away. Close to the Cathedral, Neonian Baptistery and Archiepiscopal Museum

A cura della Redazione Locale

Ultima modifica: 19 January 2021