ARCHITECT, Italian
(active 540s in Ravenna)

Exterior view

540s
Photo
Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna

Bishop Ursicinus (reg 534-36) founded this church at Classis, c. 5 km south of Ravenna; it was paid for by a local banker, Julianus Argentarius, and consecrated in 549 by Bishop Maximian. It is a spacious, three-aisled basilica ending in an eastern apse with a seven-sided outer polygon pierced by five windows and flanked by projecting chapels with absidioles. The walls of brick are decorated on the exterior with blind arches that frame the 53 windows of the nave and aisles. Ravenna's tallest campanile was added to the church in the late 10th century.

Despite extensive repairs to the clerestory in the 8th century, and the insertion of a crypt and raising of the apse level above the nave floor in the 9th century, the church has largely preserved its original internal design. Much of the sculptural and wall-mosaic decoration has also survived.

View the ground plan of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna.




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