The white colossus, made from blocks of Istrian stone, stands out at the centre of a green area. This is the Mausoleum of Theodoric, one of the most important monuments in Ravenna. The park which surrounds it, designed by architect Boris Podrecca, represents a link between the historical route of the city walls and the green belt around the city, while it mirrors typical elements of the local landscape like the fields and the water. Hence the pools near the Northern entrance, where lotus flowers bloom in Summer. From the boardwalk and the side paths the visitors can spot the numerous species of animals which inhabit these pools: turtles, fishes, geese, ducks, gulls. Plus enclosed gardens, wooded areas, meadows equipped with playgrounds, and walking and jogging routes. And the Mausoleum, the most famous funeral building of the Ostrogoths: it was built at the King’s bidding around 520, and it was originally placed by the sea, as the finding of a Roman ship not far from the tomb proved. The structure is nothing short of mighty: the monolithic dome – the diameter is almost 11 metres – weighs about 230 tons. The legend claims that the long fissure running from the centre to the circumference was caused by the lightning bolt which incinerated Theodoric. Actually, the fissure was probably caused by a minor collapse of the foundations, or by the aftershock of the placement of the dome. The whole area, then, served as a graveyard: the Campo Coriandro. With the arrival of the Byzantine, the Mausoleum was turned into an oratory. Then a lighthouse rose by its side, and the monastery of Santa Maria della Rotonda and a church were built. Today the Mausoleum is one of the eight monuments in Ravenna recognised by Unesco as World Heritage sites.
Via Pomposa – Ravenna
Tel. +39 0544 35404