Photo gallery of
Ravenna, ancient capital of the Gothic & Roman empires
by James Mayfield (Chairman, European Heritage Library)
this Article • About
the Author • Bibliography/Sources
This is a photo gallery of
my photographs from my 2007 vacation to Ravenna, one of the
least-known yet most important cities in the history of Europe.
It was the last capital of the collapsing Roman empire after
Rome had fallen into obsolescence due to Germanic conquest,
and then after incorporation into the Germanic Ostrogothic
Empire immediately following Rome, it became the capital of
the German Theodoric the Great as well in the 5th century.
After the glorious triumphs of Belisarius and Justinian of
the Byzantine Empire, it then became an exclave of political
and architectural importance for the Greeks before returning
to the control of the Germanic Lombard tribes and then being
a backwater in the massive continental empire of the Germanic
Franks under Karl the Great (Charlemagne). Ravenna is between
Venice and Rome, and possesses some of the most sublime and
magnificent architectural and artistic works of Christendom
and all of European civilizations.
To read the complete history,
my observations, and information that goes along with these
photos, read my article.
My photo of the commemoration statue to the many Italians
lost in war. (click to enlarge)
My photo of the exterior of the Church of Theodoric (click
My photo of the interior of his church (click to enlarge)
My photo of the interior walls with mosaics from 500CE, 1000CE,
1600CE, etc. (click to enlarge)
My photo of a wall in the corner. Statues, gold, marble adorn
this breath-taking cathedral.
My photo of the central ceiling of Theodoric's cathedral.
(click to enlarge)
My photo of the exterior of the exclusive Arian baptistery.
My photo of the ceiling mosaics from 500CE, with Jesus and
John the Baptist at center. Mint condition some 1,500 years
later. (click to enlarge)
My photo of the exterior of the main church of the pre-German
period. (click to enlarge)
My photo of the main interior domed hall. (click to
My photo of the main ceiling of the cathedral. (click
My photo of the frontal wall of the cathedral with mosaics
galore. (click to enlarge)
The dark no-photo ceiling is is as stunning as the Vatican.
The central archway of the cathedral is divided into several
arch-set ceilings with separate mosaics (click to
The tomb of Theodoric the Great himself (my photo). (click
My photo of a romantic view of the tomb. (click to
A close-up of the tomb of this great king (my photo).
My photo of the main view of the tomb room.
My photo of the sarcophagus of Theodoric the Great.
My photo of the ceiling of Theodoric's tomb, once housing
a golden mosaic cross assumably.
My photo of the wall of the main tomb floor. Text can clearly
be seen later washed away or destroyed.
James Mayfield is a historian
and the Chairman of the European Heritage Library. I have
a Cum Laude BA in History with a Minor in Germanic Studies
(language and history), am presently working for my Masters
in History, and plan to immediately progress to my PhD Doctorate.
I have a special academic interest in Europe's diverse ethnic
identities, languages, and cultures, and the political struggles
of native European and immigrant minority identities. See
my staff entry for more information.
No additional citations or