The Mausoleum of Teodorico is a memorable architectural undertaking that has achieved worldwide fame, having been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.
Founded on the orders of Teodorico around 520 BC, the building is an extraordinary amalgamation of style and influences, ranging from Roman to Gothic tradition. The monument comprises a decagonal external structure with two levels, with a large monolithic dome on top. Made of opus quadratum, it has a perimeter of overlapping square blocks held together by dovetailed iron brackets. In the lower part, the nine niches are punctuated by an access door while the upper one is set back, creating a 1.30 m walkway. The circular fascia, located just above the architrave, dominates the entrance and supports the frame decorated with "pincer" motifs, which were already present in Ostrogothic goldwork such as in the "armour of Teodorico".
The unique dome has a crack that may have been created during the lifting operation of the roughly 290-tonne monolith. According to a popular legend, the dome was ripped open by a divine thunderbolt that struck Teodorico inside the chamber, while in reality the structure was intended to protect the king's tomb and serve as a place of worship or burial for members of his family. The lower chamber has a Greek cross plan, while the upper one has a central plan and inside there is a porphyry labrum, in which Teodorico's body was laid.
Today, the Mausoleum is surrounded by a large park that enhances its magnificence. Marking the personality of King Teodorico as a cultured man and bringer of peace, this place is a unique testimony of history and spirituality.