Archbishop's Chapel of St. Andrew

Church in Ravenna

Archbishop’s Chapel Of St. Andrew
CC BY-SA 32.0 / =Stefano Suozzo

The Archbishop’s Chapel of St. Andrew is situated on the first floor of the Archbishop’s Museum in Ravenna and was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.

This chapel was constructed at the beginning of the 5th century AD under the patronage of Bishop Peter II. It stands out as the only Orthodox monument still existing in the city, built during Theodoric’s rule as a private oratory in the service of the Catholic bishops.

After the Byzantines conquered the city, the chapel was rededicated to Saint Andrew. The relics of Saint Andrew arrived in Ravenna from Constantinople around the middle of the 6th century.

The entire decorative program of the chapel serves as a hymn to the Saviour, to whom the building is dedicated, with a clear anti-Arian interpretation.

Christ is prominently featured throughout the mosaic decoration, often depicted as a warrior with a cross on his shoulder, along with the monogram and his face. These images reinforce the Catholic orthodox interpretation.

In addition to Christ, the mosaics include depictions of martyrs, apostles, and evangelists. These figures emphasize the concept of glorification, highlighting the ultimate affirmation of Catholic orthodoxy.

Lastly, there is a Latin inscription in the vestibule that reads: “Either the light was born here or, taken prisoner, reigns free here” (“Aut lux hic nata est aut capta hic libera regnat”). This inscription likely refers to the Orthodox faith, which, in clear contrast to Arianism, is reflected in the brilliance of the mosaics.

The Archbishop's Chapel of St. Andrew appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Ravenna!

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Visiting Archbishop's Chapel of St. Andrew


Every day: 9.00 – 19.00


€10.50 – The ticket is cumulative only and includes: the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, the Neonian Baptistery (**), the Basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (**), the Museum and the Archbishop’s Chapel.

Address: Archbishop's Chapel of St. Andrew, Piazza Arcivescovado, Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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