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“Wonderful old mosaics.”

Mausoleo di Galla Placidia
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Ravenna 3-Hour Private Guided Tour
Ranked #2 of 84 things to do in Ravenna
Certificate of Excellence
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
444 reviews
287 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
“Wonderful old mosaics.”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

This is a very old Mausoleum (c; 430 AD) in the grounds of the Basilica di San Vitale.The mosaics are said to be the oldest in Ravenna and the small interior gives a sense of time and reverence to the building.The windows are worth noting.This tourist site is available on the 9.50 Euro ticket which also gives entrance to four other sites.
The Basilica and the Mausoleum were busy on a Sunday, however the town of Ravenna was not the tourist crush experienced in other places.
An enjoyable train trip from Bologna, and a comfortable walk to the historic sites.

Visited September 2012
Thank Gunner do
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
113 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Spectacular mosaics!”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

The primary reason for a tourist to visit Ravenna is to view the incredible Byzantine-era mosaics. Through learning about the history & meaning of the mosaics, you also learn a lot about the era in history when the Roman rule of the Western world gave way to Barbarians and the Byzantine empire. But even if you aren't interested in the history lesson...there is no better city in Europe with which to become acquainted with mosaics. There are about 5 must-see locations in Ravenna for taking in this artwork. I was never a deep appreciator of mosaics, having mostly seen them in art books. The artwork looked simplistic, and of course, not very "believable" due to the lack of perspective.

Seeing this work in person adds a whole new understanding, and I'm certainly appreciating this important art now. Seeing these magnificent creations in person is simply amazing. The incredible planning, detail and colors are wonderful.

The Mausoleo di Galla Placidia is small and dark. Only a few folks at a time may go in. Photos are not really allowed and wouldn't turn out too well anyway. But the total effect of standing in the middle of this small room, virtually encompassed by gorgeous, ancient mosaics (and especially the rich blues, far more prevalent than other locations in Ravenna) is breath-taking. It's an honor to step back into time like this. While there are flashier sites in Ravenna, including the must-see neighboring bascilica...the Mausoleo is the one spot that most envelopes the viewer in mosaics, without other distractions.

I realize a trip to Ravenna is somewhat off the beaten path for most travelers to Europe. We were there because it was actually on our cruise-ship itinerary. Most of the folks on the ship decided to either stay on board, or perhaps hit the nearby beach. We took a bus into town and were able to see all the major sites, do some shopping and grab a great lunch in relative quiet...and this was in late August, at the height of European vacations. Certainly, this world heritage site is known, but it appears to be somewhat ignored. But if your travels take you nearby to Ravenna...do yourself (and the art lover in you) a favor and stop by. Admission to the sites is VERY reasonable (you buy a one price for all ticket), the city center is EASILY walkable, and the weather was generally mild. It's also a bicycle friendly town, with many old streets striped down the middle just for bikes!

Visited August 2012
1 Thank RMurray847
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aiken, South Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Dark but delightful”
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Another great example of mosaic. I loved the dark blue dome filled with gold stars. They only let in a few people at a time, small but do not miss it

Visited September 2012
Thank Jenna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
115 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Maybe my favorite of the Ravenna Mosiacs”
Reviewed October 20, 2012

The Gallia PLacida is a unique little piece of architecture and the religious symbolism is easily understandable in the mosiacs. It is part of 5 site combo ticket including the San Vitale and the museum. The masoleo however, has a sense of intimacy that goes along with the mosiacs that makes it a very special experience.

Visited October 2012
Thank TomBoonen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“the cieling looks like sparkling stars!!”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

Although very small, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is a gem. Particularly lovely is the mosaic patterns on the ceiling, and the decoration in the dome which is composed of stars. As you move around in the space, the mosaics sparkle, and give the impression that the stars are actually twinkling.

Visited September 2012
Thank ibrahimdesign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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