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Official Tourist Information Site
Municipality of Ravenna

Porta Adriana

Via Cavour - Ravenna
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PORTA ADRIANA, also known as Porta Aurea Nova (or Porta Cavour by the people of Ravenna), is located very close to the historical centre of the city, between Via Cavour and Via Maggiore.

It was probably built in the 10th century AD on the right bank of the Montone river, a tributary of the Padenna river, when it flowed close to the historical centre.

In 1545, the monumental access to the city was moved and rebuilt for military reasons by cardinal legate Capoferro.

A few decades later (1583), cardinal legate Guido Ferreri redesigned it, adorning it with the marbles and paterae coming from Porta Aurea, built by Emperor Claudius in 42 AD and demolished in the same year. Here is the origin of the name Porta Aurea Nova, which is still visible on the pediment (see focus).

The facade facing the city was further restored in 1615, and in 1700 the two circular columns were replaced by two rectangular towers, which are still present and are 20 metres higher than the gate.

In 1857, when Pope Pius IX visited Ravenna, the gate was enlarged and saw the addition of two columns and an attic, on top of which was placed the statue of the pope, and the enlargement of the trabeation.

Two bas-reliefs representing pine trees, the symbol of the city, were applied to the pedestals of the side columns. The two lions were also restored and two walkways were opened on either side of the archway, between the column bases.

On either side of the gate, it is still possible to see a portion of brick city wall, with a decorative curb built of white and red Veronese limestone. In 1904, all the cornices and side columns were rebuilt in cement and the paterae were removed. Finally, in 1968, the door underwent further extensive restoration.

Next to the gate is a roof garden and a monument in memory of Pier Paolo d’Attorre, a fine intellectual and former mayor of the city, designed by the Chilean artist Mathias Biehler, representing a bench on which an overcoat and a book rest.

FOCUS

Porta Adriana and Porta Aurea: what is the relationship?

Featuring two large archways to allow the passage in both directions and two large brick towers on each side, Porta Aurea was the monumental access gate to Ravenna in Roman times, and was built by Emperor Claudius in 42 AD.

For a long time, it had been considered as the most important monument of the city, so much so that it also appeared in the commemorative seal. His value is confirmed by some 16th-century sketches, which – along with other remains exhibited in the National Museum – confirm architect Pirro Ligorio’s words: “it was the most beautiful thing you could find in Ravenna in ancient times, for its symmetry and invention”.

In 1582 it was demolished, and part of its structures – such as the clipei and some stone blocks – were reused for the construction of the new Porta Adriana, which was called Porta Aurea Nova, as inscribed on the attic dating back to 1583.

Further information

Come Arrivare

Porta Adriana is located between Via Cavour and Piazza Baracca, close to the historical centre of the city.

By car: paid parking areas in Piazza Baracca and Piazzale Giustiniano. For more information on parkings, click HERE.

By bus: route no. 70, bus stop in Piazza Baracca. For more information: www.startromagna.it

A cura della Redazione Locale
E-mail: turismo@comune.ravenna.it

Last edit:12 April 2022

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