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Ravenna: These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away

You can’t visit Ravenna without looking up and down the splendid mosaics at Basilica Sant Apollinare Nuovo. They covered the walls of the whole basilica. It’s really an impressive work of religious art that’s been there since the 6th century. These series of mosaic are a testament to the contact between the Catholics and the Aryans.

The moment you go inside, you’d surely look up in jaw-dropping amazement.

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your  Breath Away

This is the facade of the Basilica Sant Apollinare Nuovo. It’s not really impressive, right? In fact, you won’t even know it’s a church or basilica without that tiny cross above.

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

The moment you step on inside, you’ll surely have goosebumps. My brain just kept on saying, “Wow!” – like, a million times!

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

The mosaics and patterns you see here have stories to tell.

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

If you’re a Christian, you probably know the biblical personas depicted on the wall of mosaics.

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

The mosaics are layered into three.

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

The top layer depicts the life of Jesus as written in the Bible – his parables, passion and resurrection.

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

In this mosaic, the angel are surrounding the bearded Jesus. The Aryans believe that as people grow old, they become a “man of sorrow.”

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

The middle layer is consist of prophets, saints and evangelists. They’re placed in between the arched windows. As you can see, they’re holding a book or a scroll and are wearing a robe, a Hellenistic-Roman influence.

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

The lower layer has male and female saints in a procession (on different sides of the wall – see above photo).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

Just like their male counterparts, you’ll find that these women are holding a crown. Can you read what their facial expressions mean? They look like they’re not happy holding that crown for a long time! That must be heavy! 😀

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

Also on the lower part, you’ll find Madonna and Child flanked by 4 angels.

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant'Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

These Splendid Mosaics at Basilica Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Will Take Your Breath Away (Ravenna, Italy).

The Basilica Sant Apollinare Nuovo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s not just because of its structure which was a characteristic in the 5th and 6th century but also because of its stunning religious art – one of the best in Europe.

Where to Stay in Bologna

I went to Ravenna for a day trip from Bologna. It’s just less than two hours by train.

Just in case you decide to stay in Bologna for a night and leave very early the next day, stay at Stazione Centrale. When you arrive, do not exit at the front / main gate. Go to the back exit / entrance and from there, it’s just 20 meters away.

Not a Solo Traveler? Join a tour!

Well, you know, solo travel is not for everyone. Should you decide to go on with a tour group, go with – Intrepid Travel. They have a wide variety of tours for all ages and different kinds of travelers, including solo, seniors, teenagers and family.

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