Ravenna, a Study eBook

Edward Hutton (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 311 pages of information about Ravenna, a Study.
came into the hands of Julius II. the Lion was removed and in 1640 the statue of S. Apollinaris from the northern column took its place, while there, where of old S. Apollinaris had stood, a statue of S. Vitalis was set as we see to-day.  The Palazzo del Comune was entirely reconstructed in 1681, while the Palazzo Governativo was built in 1696 by the Cardinal Legate Francesco Barberini and the Orologio Pubblico, originally dating from 1483, was transformed, as we see it, in 1785 Of the Portico Antico I have already spoken.[1]

[Footnote 1:  See supra, p. 192.]

One of the most interesting and accessible fifteenth-century houses in Ravenna is to be found in the Albergo del Cappello, with its fine original windows in the Via Rattazzi, not far from S. Domenico; it may stand as an example of many other old houses in the Via Arcivescovado, but I must especially name that beautiful Venetian house in the Via Ponte Marino—­it is No. 15—­the Casa Graziani with its lovely balcony, the Casa Baldim (Via Mazzini, 31) with its double loggia in the cortile, the Casa Fabbri next door (No. 33), the Casa Zirardini (Via Belle Arti, No. i), the Casa Baromo (Via Romolo Gessi, Nos. 6 and 16), and the Casa Ghigi with its lovely door and portico (No. 7 of the same street).


Undoubtedly the greatest monument which the sixteenth century has left us in Ravenna is the church of S. Maria in Porto.  This was built by the Canons Regular of the Lateran, the most ancient community of canons still extant, in the year 1553, when for about fifty years they had been compelled to abandon the church of S. Maria in Porto fuori outside the city, in the marsh.  They not only furnished their new church, but to a considerable extent built it, out of the materials of S. Lorenzo in Cesarea, which they thus destroyed.

[Illustration:  Colour Plate PORTA SERRATA]

S. Maria in Porto as we see it has suffered from restoration, and the facade is a work of the eighteenth century, but the church itself remains a noble sixteenth-century building divided within into three naves by huge pilasters and columns and covered at the crossing with a great octagonal cupola.  There is, however, little that is very precious to be seen, a few fine marbles and the beautiful marble relief of the Madonna in prayer in the transept, called the Madonna Greca, a Byzantine work probably brought to Ravenna, according to Dr. Ricci, at the time of the crusades.  It was originally in S. Maria in Porto fuori.  The noble choir should also be noticed and the beautiful ciborio.

Close by the church is the Monastero of the Canons, within which there remains the lovely cloister which should be compared with those at S. Vitale and S. Giovanni Evangelista of the same period.  This of S. Maria in Porto, however, is the finest, having doubled storied logge.  Above all the exquisite Loggia del Giardino should not be missed.  It was built in 1508, and looks on to a piece of the sixth-century wall of Ravenna.

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Ravenna, a Study from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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