Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ogre City

It's a rainy Sunday night here in Ravenna with accompanying thunderstorm
that really rattles the tiles on the roof. We managed to accomplish nothing this
weekend, I was so tired from work that I just sat around lazily most of the time
and we watched some episodes of "Entourage" on iTunes.

We did manage to walk around some on Saturday and we went into a church that I hadn't been
into before, St John the Evangelist. It's from the early 5th century and I'm sure it
was very nice before we blew it to heck during WWII. It's been rebuilt and some of the
mosaic re-pieced together, but the redone mosaics don't look too terrific to me at least not
when compared to San Vitale.

In Ravenna history is literally layered on top of history, with Roman ruins, then byzantine,
then very little happening during the medieval period, then plenty of "new" stuff from
the 13th century onwards. A lot of the old quarter seems to be from the past 400 years
or so. The roman ruins are sunk in the muck or buried by river silt, the only byzantine ruins
left are the churches, so the centro storico is really around the same age as Cartagena, with
a few ancient buildings thrown in.

There's also lots of WWII history here, next weekend we have to evacuate for a day because
an unexploded bomb was found about 3 blocks from here during some construction. So maybe
we'll get outside of town and see some different history. I need to remember to keep my history
questions on the ancient history, when I see recent bomb damage that was usually caused by
the US. and by Nazi's hiding in churches.

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