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Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna

Built in the 6th century for Justinian I, this is a key building in the architectural history of Byzantium, as it is the only major building of the period to have survived unscathed. Believed to look like the Imperial Palace Audience Chamber in Constantinople, it is also a wonderful tribute to the emperor who made Ravenna, then a sea port, capital of the Byzantine prefecture in Italy. Mosaic panels from 547 AD depict Justinian and his court, and the Empress Theodora.

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Issue 59, June 2019 Behind Closed Doors
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