Archbishop’s Chapel in Ravenna

The Archbishop’s Chapel (Cappella Arcivescovile di Sant’Andrea) is located on the 1st floor of the Palazzo Arcivescovile in Ravenna. Originally it was an oratory dedicated to San Pietro Crisologo. The chapel was commissioned by Bishop Pietro II in the year 495. Like most buildings of the time, the chapel is richly decorated with mosaics. The chapel is also known as Chapel of Sant’Andrea.

Archbishop’s Chapel Ravenna (Chapel of Sant’Andrea)

Useful information

The address of the Cappella Arcivescovile is Piazza Arcivescovada, 1 (tel. 0544 541688). The nearest bus stop is Via de Gaspari-Largo Chartres (lines 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 18, 70, 80, 145, 154, 155, 157, 158, 159, 161, 162, 176, 187). Phone: +39 . The Archdiocesan Chapel is open from April 1 to September 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during the month of October from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.. The rest of the year it is from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. On December 25, the basilica is closed. The ticket office closes 15 minutes before closing time. The entrance fee is 9.50 Euro, but this includes the San Vitale Basilica, the Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Basilica, the Battistero Neoniano and the Galla Placidia Mausoleum. The discounted price is 8.50 Euro. Children under 10, residents and disabled people may enter for free. (Note that prices and times may be subject to change.)

History and description

Archbishop's Chapel Ravenna
Christ depicted as a warrior

The Cappella Arcivescovile, or Cappella di Sant’Andrea, was built during the reign of Emperor Theodoric the Great. The chapel is on the first floor of Palazzo Arcivescovile and was intended to be the private chapel of Bishop Pietro II.

The chapel has a cruciform floor plan. The lower part of the walls is covered with marble, while the upper part is decorated with mosaics.

The chapel is the only Orthodox building built during the reign of Theodoric, when the Arian cult dominated.

What to see

The figure of Christ with the cross on his shoulder is considered a protest against heresy and especially Theodoric’s reign. In contrast, the effigies of the martyrs are an affirmation of the Orthodox religion.

One of the most striking mosaics shows a park with a number of birds. One of these birds, a duckling, has one red and one black leg. The symbolism behind this work is unknown.

Archbishop’s Chapel, Ravenna

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