Palace of Theodoric
The so-called Palazzo di Teodorico is the only surviving architectural testimony of the eighth century AD. of Ravenna and on the first floor hosts a selection of floor mosaics belonging to what was the most notable discovery of the early 1900s in the surrounding area: the ancient palace area of the imperial city. The portion of the building identified as the narthex and facade of the church of San Salvatore Ad Calchis (8th century AD) remains visible today from the ancient palatial area of the imperial city, of which the foundations of the main body are also preserved. Thanks to the twentieth-century restorations by Corrado Ricci, the first superintendent of Italy, today the structure, in particular the façade consisting of a double wall, is once again legible in its original appearance: on the ground floor with the portal and the two pairs of arches and on the upper floor the imposing niche with the mullioned window flanked by two symmetrical series of blind arches. Before the restoration work, the external facade on Via di Roma was completely walled up and from 1633 on the right side it incorporated the porphyry basin, the sarcophagus of the Ostrogothic king, which is located inside the upper cell of the Mausoleum of Theodoric. The rear part is characterized by symmetrical stairways that connect what must have been the narthex of the church with the environment on the first floor: one was completely rebuilt by Ricci, of the other only the foundations and some wall traces remain. The large arch that connected this access structure to the basilica body of the church is imposing and evocative.
The mansion of Eastern Viceroys
A long journey through ages.
The traditional name of this suggestive ruin of bricks come from an ancient belief which considered this architecture as the remains of the sumptuous palace of the Goth kiOng Theodoric (493-526). Most probably these remains belong to the Mansion of Exarchs, the imperial viceroys who governed the overseas country on behalf of Constantinople’s emperors. The Exarchate of Ravenna (584-751) had jurisdiction on the Byzantine territory of the Italian peninsula.
According to written sources, in the 9th century a part of the mansion was church (San Salvatore ad Calchi), almost abandoned and ruined in the 16th century. Afterwards the building was used as abode until at the end of 19th century, when restoration works and studies began, in order to identify the building periods and materials.
The facade overlooks via di Roma, the ancient Platea Maior, and has a large Romanesque niche sided by blind small loggias. The arch, probably the main entrance to the exarchal mansion, is flanked by a narrow external narthex, identified as a guard house.
The internal narthex has a Romanesque cross vault (11th or 12th century) connected with an arch of the 6th century. The small courtyard was originally larger, beyond the present boundary wall, and was a large assembly-room with apse.
Very interesting floor mosaics and marble marquetry (opus sectile) were founded in archaeological excavations in this area, where the remains of residential Roman villas and structures of the 6th and 7th century were discovered. Today, the spiral staircase of the round tower bordering on the gate to the east leads to the upper room, housing the numerous remains of floor decoration, in a suggestive variety of ornamental and
via di Roma, entrance via Alberoni - Ravenna
Not accessible to mobility-impaired visitors
museum management +39 0544 543724
OPENING TIMES - FREE ENTRY
every Monday with free access and by reservation only. Access times 9 am and 11 am
Extraordinary openings: 25thOctober; 1stNovember>Free access with guided tour (in Italian) at 9 and 11 am
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Free of charge for all people under 18 years upon presentation of valid identity card or passport
for citizens of non-EU Countries, only upon mutual agreement.