Sunday, April 17, 2011

Asheville, NC (USA) Ravenna Archiepiscopal Chapel

I received four cards in one day this week! This is the first, sent from Asheville, North Carolina.
Thanks, Kristy

Ravenna Cappella Arcivescovile postcard, Postcrossing US-1063101

This beautiful mosaic work is on the upper part of the vestibule of the Archbishop's Chapel (or Archiepiscopal Chapel) in Ravenna, Italy. It represents Christ as Victor, he is dressed in military wear, has a cross in his right hand and an open gospel in his left.

Ravenna Archbishop's Chapel mosaic,
photo by Madaki
from Wikipedia (CCA license)
You can see the mosaic wall a little more in perspective in the photo on the left.

The cross-shaped chapel, located in the Bishop's Palace, was built by Bishop Peter II around 495 and was the private oratory of the orthodox bishops. It is one of 8 locations in Ravenna that are collectively designated as a World Heritage site. The city was the capital of part of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and later became part of  the Byzantine Empire until the 8th century. Ravenna is well known for its Byzantine mosaics.

I once lived in Bologna, the gastronomic capital of Italy. It is only about 65 km (40 miles) from Ravenna, which I visited then. I probably saw the chapel and mosaic although to be honest, I don't remember. It was a long time ago. I traveled a lot in that year and I've been back to Italy many times since. It's one of my favorite countries in the world. More about that if I get an Italian postcard :) Suffice to say I always live and eat very well in Italy and it's a feast for the eyes anywhere you go. You literally walk into history at every corner.

Grand Teton National Park stamp, Postcrossing US-1063101

The stamp is of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The website says it has a "spectacular landscape rich with majestic mountains, pristine lakes and extraordinary wildlife". It gets nearly 4 million visitors every year. I've never been, I would love to. I love national parks, my favorite is Death Valley in California. The colors you see there are breathtaking. Check out the photos of Death Valley from Google.

Related links
The Bishop's Palace: architecture and authority in medieval Italy by Maureen Catherine Miller (Google books)
Early Christian monuments of Ravenna (Unesco World Heritage list)
Mosaics in Bishop's Palace, Ravenna (

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