The churches of St. Eufemia and St John and St Paul
The churches of St. Eufemia and St John and St Paul in Ravenna. Hotels near the St Eufemia and St John and St Paul churches.
Photo: 1)church Santa Eufemia,via Barbiani, 2)church S.Giovanni e Paolo,via Cura, 3)S.Giovanni Paolo bell-tower
These two little churches, not far from each other, are linked by the fact that, as it would currently appear, they both date back to the mid 18th century and were built by the two main architects, Gianfrancesco Buonamici and Domenico Barbiani, who in that period completely renewed the city's appearance, especially its sacred buildings.
This intervention lasted several decades between the XVII and the XVIII centuries, affecting buildings that had risen in the paleo-christian and late-ancient times. There was no precise planning as such, rather the practical needs of restructuration, demanded by time and old age. St Eufemia was rebuilt in 1742-47 by the Rimini-born Gianfrancesco Buonamici, who over the previous years had rebuilt the cathedral and the little church of St Giustina.
Legend has it that the previous church of St Eufemia was the oldest in the Emilia region, built on the site where the first Christians united to listen to the preaching of St Apollinare.
In fact, a small shaft in the vestry is inscribed with the 18th century writing "and here began the faith of the Ravenna people". Some relics of St Eufemia, who according to the legend were brought here by Apollinare, were discovered here in 1686 along with those of St Agatha.
There is in fact a necropolis from the VII-IX century under the church, discovered during an excavation in 1993 which brought to light various stratifications, among which the vast mosaic floors of a 6th century building, "the Domus of the glass mats", which can be visited along with the church.
The church of Saints John and Paul is commonly called "of the Angel", thanks to the popular festival that is held in the churchyard on the 2nd October, the festival of the guardian angel.
Inside it preserves 17th-century paintings, among which a beautiful anonymous canvas depicting the guardian angel, heavily inspired by St Romualdo who, halfway through the century, had been painted by Guercino for the monks of Classe (today at the Council Art Gallery).
The gracious little bell-tower, with its cylinder-form upper, is from the IX century, one of the oldest in the city.
The church's foundation perhaps dates back to the VI century, but today's building is from 1758, signed by Domenico Barbiani, architect and decorator, one of a family of artists at work for several generations between the XVII and XVIII centuries.
To the Barbiani family we also owe the reconstruction of the oratory of St Carlino, including the interior decoration of the dome; the renovation of St Stephen degli Ulivi; the construction of Palazzo Baronio.
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 Churches S.Eufemia and St.John - St.Paul;
The Bisanzio Hotel, 4-star hotel in the centre of Ravenna, close to Churches St.Eufemia and St.John -St.Paul
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