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
figurative repertoire.

via di Roma, entrance via Alberoni - Ravenna
Not accessible to mobility-impaired visitors
museum management +39 0544 543724
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Visits calendar available for booking:

5 August

19 August

2 September 

16 September 

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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.