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    The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is a funeral monument in Ravenna, located in Via Galla Placidia, in the northern part of the historical center of the city.



    According to tradition, the structure was built by Galla Placidia, daughter of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, and mother of the Emperor Valentinian III, for herself, her husband Constantius III and her brother Honorius.

    She was Queen consort to Ataulf, King of the Visigoths, between 414 and 415, Empress consort to Constantius III between 417 and 421, and managed the government administration as a regent during the early reign of Valentinian III.

    Although the legend has it that the body of Galla Placidia was brought back to Ravenna and placed in a sarcophagus in the mausoleum, it was almost certain that she died in Rome in 450, and she was buried in the Honorian Mausoleum.

    The mausoleum was probably used as a chapel of the Church of the Holy Cross (Chiesa di Santa Croce), located nearby.

    In 1996, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites entitled Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna.

    Mausoleum of Galla Placidia - Ravenna



    The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia has a Latin cross plan, with the central nave slightly longer than the transept.

    The structure has a simple brick facade, with the dome hidden by a lantern with a square base, which rises above the gabled roof.

    The external decorations consist of a pine cone placed on top, the cornice and the blind arches. A frieze is placed above the portal, depicting two felines facing each other, among vineyard branches.

    The interior is decorated with a cycle of mosaics, among the oldest in the city, dating back to the second quarter of the 5th century.

    At the end of the arms, there are three marble sarcophagi. The one in the central arm dates back to the Roman era, while the two placed in the side arms are from the 4th and 5th centuries.

    The central dome dominates the internal space, flanked on the sides by four lunettes, with small windows in the center. Four other lunettes are located at the ends of the arms.

    Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (mosaic)



    The dome has the Cross in the center, with many stars around, on a blue background. The lunettes of the dome show pairs of Apostles, with their arms raised in adoration towards the central Cross.

    The barrel vaults and the arches of the arms are richly decorated with festoons of flowers and fruits.

    In the lunette above the entrance, there is a depiction of the Good Shepherd, seated on a rock and surrounded by sheep.

    In the opposite lunette, San Lorenzo carries a large Cross on his shoulder, with an open book in his other hand. In the side lunettes, deer are placed among the branches of shrubs, drinking water.

    Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (mosaic)

    TIP: To visit five of the monuments included in the UNESCO World Heritage List “Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna” and to discover their history and art (mosaics), take a guided tour.



    The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is located about 1 kilometer away from the Ravenna railway station. The closest bus stop is in Via Maggiore, about 450 meters away, on the bus Line 70.

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