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of Ravenna

Ardea Purpurea fountain

Piazza Resistenza - Ravenna

Since 2004, just outside the city walls of Ravenna and near the Shrine of Santa Maria del Torrione, Piazza della Resistenza has been hosting a monumental mosaic fountain designed and realised by Marco Bravura, famous mosaic artist from Ravenna.

The structure, called ARDEA PURPUREA, is 12-metres high and recalls the shape of human DNA.

The overall project is actually made up of two fountains: the first, smaller one, had already been made in 1999 by Marco Bravura in Beirut, Lebanon, as a symbol of rebirth of the city from the ruins of the war. The project was then completed in 2004 with the one in Ravenna, undoubtedly bigger.

Two wings rising up, twisted and parallel, covered with mosaic tesserae that contribute, thanks to sunrays and the fountain’s water spouts, to create a fascinating play of colours, lights and refractions.

The iconography is highly symbolic and inspired by ancient oriental languages. On a gold background, the tiles form characters from the Phoenician alphabet, symbols of Judaism, words in Sanskrit, Aramaic, Greek and ancient Japanese.

Ardea Purpurea is also one of the names given to the Arabian phoenix, from whose ashes life rises again. A metaphor that also applies to mosaic, based on the disintegration and recomposition of matter.

In this work, also emptiness finds a new meaning: the space between the two wings suggesting the figure of an 8, the symbol of infinity. And from the middle of the emptiness rises a jet of water, reminding us that without it there can be no life.

Even the used materials, become more precious, abstract and light as you go upwards, as a symbol of immortality.


Mosaic works around the city

Ravenna is known as the capital of mosaic, but often people only think about the mosaics of the UNESCO World Heritage Monuments.

All around the city, it is possible to admire artistic installations and pieces of furniture that underline once more how close the relationship between the city and this form of art is.

You can thus find beautiful works of art scattered around the whole territory of the municipality. Just a few steps away from the railway station, in the small area of Giardini Speyer, is for example La Gerusalemme Celeste (2003), a precious mosaic column designed by Enzo Pezzi and realised by the students of Consorzio Provinciale per la Formazione Professionale of Ravenna.

Furthermore, not far from the stadium is Parco della Pace (1980), hosting many works of art by contemporary mosaic artists and creating a real open-air museum.

Further information

Opening times

Always visible.

How to get there

The Ardea Purpurea fountain is located in Piazza della Resistenza, next to the Shrine of Santa Maria del Torrione.

On foot / by bike: the area is easily rechable on foot or by bike from teh railway station (about 2 km).

By bus: bus stop in Piazza della Resistenza and the surroundings. For more information:

By car: the fountain is located on one side of the Piazza della Resistenza parking, where cars, campers and tourist buses can be parked. For more information, click HERE.

A cura della Redazione Locale

Last edit:23 November 2023

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