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Revealing Ravenna - why the Best of Byzantium is in Italy
Ravenna is remarkable for its rich array of mosaics, dating across several centuries and commissioned by a number of different 'regimes'. The city was, for a while, the capital of the Roman Empire, and later it became an outpost of the Byzantine Empire: now, it is a regional city which at first glance could easily seem to have nothing to say for itself. However, the complex early history has left its traces in the beautiful images on the walls - and ceilings - of many of its churches, and the mosaics themselves bear the traces of the subtly shifting beliefs of the ruling powers. The remarkable beauty of these decorations is self evident, and can be enjoyed without knowing anything about their meaning - but unravelling their origins makes them seem all the more remarkable.