Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna

At the time of construction, the Sant’Apollinare in Classe Basilica in Ravenna was built, it was still located along the coast. Today, however, it stands several kilometers inland in the countryside south of the city. The church has a basilical floor plan and is famous for its mosaics. Next door are the ruins of the former port city of Classe, where the Roman fleet used to have its home.

Sant’Apollinare in Classe Basilica Ravenna

Useful information

The address of the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe is via Romea Sud, 224 (tel. +39 0544 527308.) Bus 4 and bus 176 halt at the Classe Sant’Apollinare stop. Classe‘s train station is a five-minute walk away.

The Sant’Apollinare in Classe Basilica is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Sundays and holidays, the church is open to tourists only from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time. On December 25 and January 1, the church is closed. The entrance fee is 5 Euro (2.50 Euro with discount). A combo ticket Sant’Apollinare in Classe/Museo Nazionale di Ravenna/Mausoleum of Theodoric costs 10 Euro (5 Euro with discount). This ticket is valid for three days from the time of issue. It is available at the monuments themselves. For EU residents under 18 the entrance fee is always free. Holders of the Romagna Visit Card may enter for free. Admission is free on the first Sunday of the month. (Note that prices and times may be subject to change.)

The church is handicapped accessible.

History and description

Sant'Apollinare in Classe Basilica Ravenna
Sant’Apollinare in Classe Basilica

The Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe is located outside the center of Ravenna. The addition Classe refers to the ancient Roman port city that used to be located here.

Construction of the church took place in the 6th century, after which it was consecrated by the city’s first bishop, Sant’Apollinare.

The facade as seen today is not the original version. The bottom row of windows consists of monoforas, the ones of the middle row are biforas and the highest one consists of triforas.

The round bell tower stands to the left of the church itself.

The church consists of three naves. Except for the apse, which is richly decorated, the interior makes an austere impression.

What to see

On the spot where Sant’Apollinare was martyred there is now an ancient altar.

The biggest attractions are the mosaics depicting the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The apostles, depicted as lambs, are depicted leaving the two cities.

The decorations in the apse were made around the middle of the 6th century. On the upper part is a starry sky. At the point where the two arms of the cross intersect one sees the face of Christ. Above the cross, the hand of God reaches down from the clouds. On the lowest part is a flower garden, with a praying Sant’Apollinare in the center.

Sant’Apollinare in Classe Basilica Ravenna


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