Life Style

Ravenna Replaced Rome Because the Empire's Capital, Here's What To See

The capital from the Roman Empire was obviously Rome – wrong. Or at least sort of wrong. It relied on what time in history one is referring to. Rome lasted very a very long time also it split into two different empires. While the Roman Empire grew from Rome, over time the city lost its geopolitical significance and lost its status as the capital from the Empire.

The capital of the Empire moved to Constantinople, after the Empire split in two, the Western Empire capital was at Ravenna in Italy. Ravenna was the capital of the Roman Empire in the last years. It had been the main city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 to 476 (when it collapsed) – a period of a lot more than 70 years.

How Ravenna Became The Capital From the Roman Empire

After the collapse from the Western Empire, Ravenna was the main city from the (kind of) successor the Ostrogothic Kingdom until 540 (when it was unconquered through the Eastern Roman Empire (aka Byzantine Empire). It was then the center of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until 751.

  • Western Empire Capital: From the Roman Empire For Over 70 Years
  • Also Capital: From the Ostrogothic Kingdom

The city is inland in Italy but continues to be connected to the Adriatic Sea by the Candiano Canal.

Ravenna is a very ancient city. The oldest archaeological evidence for the city goes back to at least the 5th century BC. It became part of the Roman Republic in 89 BC. For the students of history, it is thought to have been where Julius Caesar gathered his forces in 49 BC right before he made that momentous decision to cross the Rubicon.

Under Roman rule, the city prospered. A massive 70 km (or 44 miles) long aqueduct was built in the town through the famous Emperor Trajan at the beginning of the 2nd century.

  • Aqueduct: Trajan Built A 70 KM Aqueduct to Ravenna

By the dawn from the 400s, the realities of managing the massive Empire were changing and Emperor Honorius moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire there (the main city was once Milan). This was partly for defensive purposes as the security from the Empire deteriorated. Ravenna was surrounded by swamps and marshes making it simpler to protect.

The Ostrogothic Kingdom was seen at that time as a continuation from the Roman Empire. Its famous ruler, Theodoric, also built many stunning buildings around Ravenna – the stunning palace church, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, is among the most notable.

Ravenna Is Impressive Today

Today Ravenna is like no other place in Italy. It's a town of unappreciated history with the mosaics to prove it. The mosaics alone are sufficient to leave one breathless.

  • Famous For: Mosaics

It is a good idea to organize to invest at least two days in this historic city to determine and take in exactly what it has to offer.

All this means that it is one of the most overlooked historical cities in Italy that everybody should visit. It is today noted for its well-preserved late Roman and Byzantine architecture and has eight-building making up a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • UNESCO: Eight Buildings Creating “Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna”

Must-See Attractions In Ravanna

There is really a more complete listing of impressive sites on Planetware, just a few of the very most impressive sites to explore in Ravanna are:

Neonian Baptistery:

An early fifth-century brick baptistery in the heart of the city. It's among the oldest buildings in modern Ravenna and one of the finest and most complete early Christian baptisteries today.

San Vitale:

The San Vitale is an octagonal church that's a lot more impressive on the inside than the outside. It had been built-in the very first half of the 6th century and it is impressive with mosaics. You can even find mosaics that portray the truly amazing Eastern Emperor Justinian, his wife Theodora, as well as their court.

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia:

Ravenna can also be home to some historic mausoleums, one of the most impressive may be the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. It has been termed by UNESCO as “the earliest and best-preserved of all mosaic monuments and at the same time frame probably the most artistically perfect.”

Sant'Apollinare Nuovo:

Go to the Gothic period and see once the Gothic ruler, Theodoric, built the Sant' Apollinare Nuovo as his cathedral. It's also renowned for its impressive mosaics depicting saints, prophets, and New Testament scenes.

You may also like