Set among the sixth-century mosaics in the San Vitale Basilica in Ravenna, Italy is a sixteenth-century labyrinth.
Installed in 1583-4 after many floods damaged an earlier floor mosaic, the labyrinth’s pathway moves from the center to the outside, winding through four quadrants. An uninterrupted series of three hundred and eighty-four arrows point the way through the labyrinth and once outside continue westward towards the center of the larger octagonal mosaic.
The seven circuit (eight circles) medieval-style labyrinth mosaic is a little larger than eleven feet in diameter. A small marble circle serves as the center.
A shell separates the labyrinth and the center of the larger octagonal mosaic which represents rebirth. (Not pictured)
The labyrinth is walkable–but barely! It seems designed for visual appreciation rather than an actual journey on foot.
It’s unfortunate, but some people just don’t notice the gem below their feet!
Other posts in this series on Italian Church Labyrinths: