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Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe

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The Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe is an important monument of Byzantine art near Ravenna, Italy. When the UNESCO inscribed eight Ravenna sites on the World Heritage List, it cited this basilica as "an outstanding example of the early Christian basilica in its purity and simplicity of its design and use of space and in the sumptuous nature of its decoration".

When the basilica of Sant'Apollinare was built 1500 years ago it was on the seashore at Classe, ancient home port of the Roman fleet. Due to the accumulation of silt, the coastline has moved 9 km (5.6 mi) to the east. The imposing brick structure was erected at the beginning of 6th century by order of Bishop Ursicinus, using money from the Greek banker Iulianus Argentarius. It was certainly located next to a Christian cemetery, and quite possibly on top of a pre-existing pagan one, as some of the ancient tombstones were re-used in its construction.

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