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The Palace of Theodoric: the most ancient mosaics of Ravenna.

The Palace of Theodoric: the most ancient mosaics of Ravenna. Hotel near the Palace of Theodoric in the centre of Ravenna.


Photo: 1)Building of Teodorico,2)plan of the archeology site,3)behind the Building of Teodorico,4) a mosaic on ground floor,5)winding staircase,6)the mosaics hall on the upper floor, 7)fragments of the mosaic with the hunting scene


The most ancient mosaics of Ravenna are in the Palace of Theodoric: the numerous mosaic floorings preserved in the Palace of Theodoric were discovered close to the churches of  Santa Apollinare Nuovo and San Salvatore in  Calchi , in the ex-Salesiani's area.

A systematic archaeological excavation has brought to light the V century ruins of the "Palatium" of king Theodoric.

In southern sector of the excavation close to via Alberoni , noteworthy testimonies  of a great suburban villa of Roman Period emerged : floorings realized with the methods of Opus Sectile and white and black Opus Tessellatum.


The analysis of the archaeological material permitted the different building phases to be reconstructed: the first occupation of the area is dated back between the end of I century B.C. and the II century A.D. After a gap of about two centuries, the building was totally reconstructed, enlarged and transformed, during the V century, in the royal palace of Theodoric.


We can therefore admit that the chronological arch from the realization of the first mosaics to the last restorations of some floorings is wide and goes from the  I to VII century A.D.


Mosaics with geometric and figurative patterns must be collocated in this time frame.


A spiral staircase leads you to the big hall upstairs where about twenty decorations of striking visual impact and documentary interest are gathered together.


The Opus Sectile pavement of the suburban villa of Augusto's Period, with its differently coloured square and triangular pieces of marble, is among the most beautiful relic in the hall (some say that it is the most beautiful relic ever realized with this technique).


The pavement, realized with the white and black Opus Tassellatum technique,  comes from the same hall in the villa and it is dated back to the I century: the fragment shows a double-frame pattern with a central white tesserae board , and an external four black tessarae line grid with a double line of differently coloured jagged  triangles disposed as in a chess board .


The mosaic pavement from a portico in the king palace of Theodoric with wild boar hunting scenes has a striking visual impact and great importance.

Only some central figures and a wide marginal frame of the original ones remain today.
It a scene of a horseback hunting and the animals are in a natural setting.


The style of the composition is still aristocratic , roman ellenistic, although anachronistic at that time.


Prof. Gianni Morelli


The pleasure of fine accommodation in the centre of Ravenna: we recommend the Fabbri hotels for a pleasant stay as follows:

The Centrale Byron Hotel, 3-star hotel in the centre of Ravenna, close to the main momuments;

The Bisanzio Hotel, 4-star hotel in the centre of Ravenna, close to the main momuments;

Once you have reached the hotel and parked your car, forget it and walk everywhere, because everything is within walking distance.

The railway station is near our hotels and within walking distance


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Our Clients can reach our Hotels, in the center of Ravenna, by car, just in front of the hotel.