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Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo: Nave mosaics, detail
To the left is a procession of the 22 Virgins, lead by the Three Magi, moving from the city of Classe towards the group of the Madonna and Child surrounded by four angels. These are Byzantine period mosaics.
Originally built as Theodoric's palace church and dedicated to the Saviour, it was rededicated to St Martin of Tours during the episcopate of Agnellus (556-569) and finally to St Apollinaris in the 9th century, probably after the saint's relics were translated there in 856. It is a standard western basilica with a nave and two aisles, an apse and arcaded colonnades. The sumptuous mosaics reflect the dominant role that mosaics had assumed in the churches of the Christian East; the architecture is subordinate. One of eight Ravenna sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List.