Neonian Baptistry (5th century) - Ravenna Intorno

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Ravenna Intorno
Oggi è Wednesday 21 August 2019 Ora corrente
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Neonian Baptistry (5th century) - Ravenna

dome, interior
Piazza Duomo - Ravenna
Opening hours: Weekday opening hours: from 15/03 to 30/09: 9.00 - 19.00 ticket office closes at 18.45 - Holiday opening hours: from 15/03 to 30/09: 9.00 - 19.00 ticket office closes at 18.45
Phone: +39 0544 541688

Also known as the Orthodox Baptistery to highlight the severance from the Aryan heretics, the Neonian Baptistery is the oldest monumental work in the city of Ravenna. Built at the end of the fourth century, the Baptistery takes its name from the Neonian bishop who continued the construction work initiated by his predecessor, Orso.

As soon as one enters the simple brick octagonal structure, with four large niches at the base, one is instantly aware of being in the best-preserved baptistery in primitive Christian history.
As in the other monuments of Ravenna, the eye is drawn to the splendid mosaic of the dome, which stands 14 metres above the ground. Its beauty is said to have enchanted the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung in the late 1930's. At the centre stands the depiction of the Battesimo di Cristo da parte di San Giovanni Battista (Baptism of Christ by St. John the Baptist), where the figures of Christ and St. John are immersed in an idealised river Jordan, with the dove (the Holy Spirit) which must confer the iconographic baptismal. The baptismal image adorns the second mosaic registry of the dome of the Collegio dei 12 apostoli (Twelve Apostles) and the third is adorned by the Paradiso Celeste (Celestial Paradise) which illustrates splendid mosaic interpretations of plants and flowers and the four empty thrones (Etimasie), which symbolically represent the destination of the beatific souls. Worthy of note is the centre row, decorated with beautiful stucco images of the sixteen prophets (four adult, twelve children), and the base decorated with marble cleats and mosaic human figures.