<%@ Page Language="VB" ContentType="text/html" ResponseEncoding="iso-8859-1" %> Offshore Mediterranean Conference - Ravenna, March 2005

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ACCOMODATION: The City of Ravenna
Ravenna: One of the Most Fascinating Cities of Italy

The city was actually the last capital of the Western Roman Empire and it retains many unique remains of its glorious imperial past as a Byzantine city where emperors once reigned in glorious splendor.
But today Ravenna is also the most important oil and gas industrial center in the whole Mediterranean.
Culture and technology are the hallmarks of this modern-ancient city that now, every two years since 1993 acts as host to the Offshore Mediterranean Conference. This is an event that has contributed to the town's growing reputation as an important location for hearing about the latest technological developments, making contacts and, in general, doing business in the offshore petroleum industry.

Highlights of Ravenna's history

Ravenna is located 10 Km (6 Miles) away from the coast. But twenty centuries ago it was a well known port chosen as the base for the Roman Empire fleet on 'the upper sea'. The port could shelter up to 250 ships.In the 4th century A.D. Theodosius, one of the greatest Emperors of the Roman Empire died in Milan. The Empire was divided between his two sons: to Arcadius was given theEastern Empire with capital Constantinople, to Honorius the Western Empire with capital Milan (Milan had previously become the capital owing to its better strategic position than Rome).Honorius, alarmed by the progress of Alaric in the North of Italy, transferred his court to Ravenna situated in a lagoon and thus easier to defend.In 402 A.D. Ravenna was the capital of the Roman Western Empire.n In 476 A.D. Odoacer deposed the last Roman Western Emperor and sent the Imperial Colours to Constantinople.After that period, Ravenna saw: Byzantine dominations, papal principalities, Venetian armies,...Today Ravenna is well known for the offshore industry. Once more Ravenna's future is the sea.

The Mosaics of Ravenna
(5 th and 6 th century A.D.)

Ravenna's mosaics are the splendid culmination of the artistic experiences of the West and East. There is no finer way than with glazed tiles, so sensitive to refracted light, to express the consolidation of the Christian faith in Imperial society and emphasise a whole series of abstract representations in a precious, rarefied atmosphere. The refined naturalism of the Hellenistic-Roman school is fused and amalgamated with the harmonious accuracy and geometrical, stylised decorativism of oriental heritage.

Later, in the course of the 6 th century, the vast range of chromatic shadings began to diminish gradually until they were almost submerged by the sparkling, uniform glitter of gold. On the other hand, a golden background is appropriate for the almost magical representation of concepts and episodes and harmonizes beautifully with the power and splendour of the Court of Byzantium.
© OMC 2005