Day 38: Ravenna interiors and to Bologna airport

We visited some of the monuments that were closed on Wednesday and Thursday. First, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo built by Theodoric but revised when Justinian’s rule commenced and evidence of Theodoric and his religious beliefs were erased or tried to be covered over in this church.

It’s hard to see in these photos but there are hands in front of some of the columns. They are what was not removed and replaced by Orthodox martyrs and were believed to be Arian figures.

We then went to the Arian Baptistery where the original mosaics remain. One scholar found evidence that these mosaics were to have been removed but the ship sent to do the work never arrived—probably bad weather.

The Arian mosaics show a beardless Christ, which may be related to their view of Christ as a figure lesser than God the Father.

The so-called Mausoleum of Galla Placidia from around 450. It is a small central planned building but no one knows what the building was used for but very unlikely a mausoleum as Galla Placidia died in Rome and is believed to be buried there. The mosaics are amazingly well preserved.

San Vitale which Justinian had built at the same time he had Hagia Sofia built, but San Vitale now has better preserved mosaics.

Included in the mosaics are images of Justinian and his wife Theodora, although it is believed he never visited Ravenna.

The driver taking us to Bologna was worried about the roads and delays so we left two hours earlier than planned. We saw water dangerously close to flowing over the road and at one point was starting to move across. The driver thought the road might get closed and was glad we started early.

We arrived earlier than planned at Bologna airport. I booked a room at the hotel closest to the airport which turns out to be in the middle of nothing with some military lands and parks nearby but no commercial area.

I hopped a taxi and spent the afternoon in the Centro Storico of Bologna, looking again at the market, some stores and San Pedronio where I saw a rather poorly maintained Parmigianino altarpiece of San Rocco.

Also saw a fresco in another chapel that relies on Dante’s conception of hell from the Inferno.

Jacopo della Quercia (ca. 1374 – 20 October 1438), also known as Jacopo di Pietro d’Agnolo di Guarnieri, was an Early Renaissance sculptor who inspired Michelangelo. The work of della Quercia shows a shift from the International Gothic style to classical aesthetic principles that value symmetry, simplicity and harmony with special attention to perspective and proportion. Della Quercia sculptures over the main door.

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