The term "New" was given to distinguish it from another Church, oldest town called Sant ' Apollinare in Veclo. The basilica is inserted, since 1996, in the list of world heritage sites by UNESCO, within the serial site "early Christian monuments of Ravenna".
The basilica was built by King Theodoric in goto Church 505 Arian worship under the name Domini Nostri Jesu Christi.
The walls of the nave are divided into three distinct bands from Mosaic decorations.
Like all churches of Ravenna Imperial periods (until 476), ostrogoth (up to 540) and Justinian (540), also Saint Apollinare Nuovo is decorated with beautiful and colorful mosaics. The top is decorated with a series of panes separated by allegorical motif of a pavilion with two doves. The panels feature scenes from the life of Christ