Posted by: debrakolkka | April 25, 2010

Basilica Sant’Apollinare – Ravenna

There are 2 Sant’Apollinare churches in Ravenna.  This caused us quite some confusion.   The church was included on our ticket and we were keen to see it.  When we asked about directions to the church we were clearly not specific enough.

 We were told to take the number 4 or 44 bus which left from the station.  No problem so far.  We located what we thought was the bus stop and I went to buy bus tickets.  The person at the bus office told me we were waiting at the wrong place and that we needed to cross the roundabout to catch the bus.  We eventually found the bus stop only to see the number 4 bus arrive at the original stop.  We ran across the road  to be told by the driver that we couldn’t get on there, but had to go back to the other stop – another scramble across the road.  When we got there the bus sailed past us.  Not long after the number 44 arrived and we were successfully on our way to Sant’Apollinare – or so we thought.

the pretty park at the back of Sant’Apollinare in Classe

We approached the ticket box at the entrance to the church  to be told that our tickets were not valid.  This was Sant’Apollinare in Classe not Sant’Apollinare Nuovo.  We bought new tickets and were not disappointed with the interior of the church.  The basilica was built in the 6th century on the burial site of Ravenna’s patron saint.

amazing decoration in the apse

the interior of the church

Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long for the bus back to town and we fairly quickly found our way to the church we had a ticket for.  Once again, the interior made the confusion seem unimportant.  The basilica was originally built by the Goths in the 6th century.  The high walls in the nave are covered with mosiacs depicting a procession of 26 martyrs on the right and on the other side a procession of virgins.

Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

the procession of virgins

detail near the ceiling

High up near the ceiling of the church I spotted a familiar scene.  There were the 3 men we had seen in postcards all day.  As it turned out they were the 3 Magi, not just 3 chaps on a postcard.

the Magi bearing gifts


  1. This basilica of Sant’Apollinare is really beutiful. I like this post due to that, because You took inside and outside photos.

    I have photographed in Finland about 360 churches and every time I take 30-50 photos.

    I have also presented inside and outside photos in my posts. I have grouped then: Stone churches and wooden churches. Wooden are more beautiful (my opinion).

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