Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Date 425-50 CE

Movement Early Christian

Located at Ravenna, Italy

 

As the Empire fell into decline and Rome was threatened by advancing tribes, the capital relocated North to Milan, then Ravenna. Though named after the sister of Emperor Honorius, for it was believed that she was buried within, it is also likely that this structure was originally built as a chapel to Saint Lawrence. The building’s simple brick exterior disguises its inner grandeur—a symbol of the ideal Christian who leads a simple life but who contains the spirit of God within. Shimmering marble and precious stone greet the eye upon entering the space. In one lunette, St. Lawrence stands next to the grill that he was martyred upon; nearby, a cabinet contains the four gospels.