Official Tourist Information Site
of Ravenna

Archiepiscopal Chapel (or St. Andrew Chapel)

Piazza Arcivescovado, 1 - Ravenna

The ARCHIEPISCOPAL CHAPEL or ST. ANDREW CHAPEL is on the first floor of the Archiepiscopal Museum of Ravenna, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Monument since 1996.

Built at the beginning of the 5th century by Archbishop Peter II, the chapel is the only Orthodox monument extant in town. It was built in Theodoric’s time as a private oratory for the Catholic bishops.

After the city was conquered by the Byzantines, the Chapel was consecrated to St. Andrew, whose remains were brought to Ravenna from Constantinople around the middle of the 6th century.

The mosaic decorations

The little oratory is dedicated to the Saviour, and the whole decoration system glorifies its image, coherent with an anti-Arian interpretation.

Christ, dressed as a warrior, with a cross on his shoulder, his monogram and his face, stand out in various parts of the chapel.

The images of martyrs, apostles and evangelists also contribute to underline this attempt of glorification, as to claim the Catholic orthodoxy’s supremacy.

In the Archiepiscopal also stands out the Latin inscription in the vestibule “Either light was born here or it was made captive, [either way] here it reigns freely” (“Aut lux hic nata est aut capta hic libera regnat”).

This inscription as well, reflecting in the radiance of the chapel’s mosaic, refers most probably to the Orthodox light, in sharp contrast with Arianism.



The museum and the ivory pulpit of Maximian

Rebuilt in modern times, the Archiepiscopal Palace of Ravenna hosts a small and precious museum.

While the first room of the museum is entirely occupied by a rich collection of marbles from the ancient Basilica Ursiana, the visitor’s attention is drawn to the world-famous ivory pulpit of Archbishop Maximian, displayed in the next room in a glass case.

The pulpit 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 pulpit is engraved with the monogram of Maximian, Prelate of Ravenna (546-556) in the age of Justinian.

Further information

Opening times

Until 3rd November
Every day: 9 am – 7 pm

Last admission: 30 minutes before closing time.

Closing time

The museum is closed on December 25th and January 1st.

Entrance fee

Ticket: € 10.50
Concession: € 9.50 (*)

There is only a combined ticket, which 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.

For further information:

Free of charge

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 to disabled people.

How to get there

The chapel is located in the heart of Ravenna city center, inside the Archiepiscopal Palace. In the area are the Cathedral and the Neonian Baptistery.

By bus: in Piazza Caduti della Libertà and in Piazza Kennedy are the bus stops where every urban routes stops. Find your bus on:

On foot/by bike: the museum can be easily reached on foot or by bike from the railway station.

Parking: near the museum are several parking areas. Find the nearest parking areas HERE.

A cura della Redazione Locale

Last edit:2 April 2024

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