The remains of 8th-century Ravenna
One of the many wonders that make Ravenna one of Italy’s most important cities of art is the ancient Palace of Theodoric, or what remains of the 8th-century architecture of Ravenna. It is the remains of a wall that has stood for centuries just a stone’s throw from the basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo.
It is unclear what the building was used for, with only part of the façade visible today. Some scholars have speculated that it was a guardhouse built to guard access to the palace just a short distance away, of which we no longer have any trace. Others believe it was the portico of the façade of the early medieval church of San Salvatore ai Calchi. What we do know is that, contrary to past speculation, the building was never the residence of Theodoric the Great.
Today, thanks to major restoration work carried out since the late 20th century, you can admire the precious floor mosaics over two floors, discovered in the larger archaeological area during excavations in the 19th century.