Neonian Baptistry

Ravenna - Piazza Duomo

Neonian Baptistry


Entry price: € 9.50
only cumulative: New S.Apollinare, Neonian, San Vitale, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Museum and Chapel of the Archbishop. Reduced 8.5 €; free up to 10 years.


Always open
until 31 March 9 - 17:30 from 1st April 9 to 19 the ticket office closes 15 minutes before


Telephone: +39 0544 541688

The most ancient of Ravenna monuments, at least with regard to when building began, it dates to the end of the 4th or the beginning of the 5th century. It is a simple octagonal plan brick building with four large niches spreading towards the exterior and with the doors buried (the original level is about three metres below the present one). The Baptistery was splendidly decorated with mosaics by bishop Neone in 450. Inside, besides very beautiful mosaic decoration of Hellenic-Roman influence, several stucco-works and marble parts remain. In the middle there is an octagonal font of Greek marble and porphyry, reworked in the 16th century, which still preserves some original fragments.

The Subconscious and Conscious
During a trip to Ravenna in the 1930s Carl Gustav Jung visited the Neonian baptistery and saw a mosaic in which Christ is shown holding out a hand to Peter who is about to drown. He discussed this at length with his travelling companion, reflecting together on its meaning, the expression of the archetypal idea of death and rebirth. It was only on his return to Zurich that, while trying to find a photograph of this mosaic, he realised that the image he had seen did not exist.
Jung wrote some beautiful pages in Ravenna in his Memories, Dreams and Reflections, recounting the strange experience in Ravenna as a moment in which the subconscious and conscious meet, when the physical eyes perceive a vision that is not real but nevertheless real in experience. The magic of the mosaics in Ravenna influenced even the father of psychoanalysis.

Source: local Staff of Ravenna


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