This is the incredible mosaic floor of the basilica of Otranto, Italy.
Here’s an article on it from the NY Times, and here’s a small picture in color of a good chunk of floor. Here’s the layout of the whole floor inside the basilica.
Here’s a good pictoral overview, though it’s in Italian. Click on everything. This one too.
There are stories from the Old Testament, months of the year (here’s December), the Zodiac, a good chunk of zoo animals, and both King Alexander and King Arthur depicted here.
A Father Pantaleone created it back in the 12th century. Apparently, his idea was to show the “trees of life” — to depict everything important to ordinary life and legendary history on the floor of the church. (Tell me again why we pick boring floor tiles in beige for our churches, eh?)
The view (in black and white) from above the high altar. (You can even see the crucifix.)
Filed under Church, History