Canossa in Reggio Emilia

Wednesday, 4 May 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Museums, Exhibitions
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Canossa Castle on a cold winter night © Giorgio Galeotti/cc-by-4.0

Canossa Castle on a cold winter night © Giorgio Galeotti/cc-by-4.0

Canossa is a comune and castle town in the Province of Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. It is where Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV did penance in 1077 and stood three days bare-headed in the snow to reverse his excommunication by Pope Gregory VII. The Walk to Canossa is sometimes used as a symbol of the changing relationship between the medieval Church and State.

As of December 2014, Canossa has a population of 3,778, and borders the comuni of Casina, Castelnovo ne’ Monti, Neviano degli Arduini (PR), San Polo d’Enza, Traversetolo (PR), Vetto, and Vezzano sul Crostolo. The town was formerly known as Ciano d’Enza, while Canossa was the name of only the castle, now in ruins, once belonging to Matilda of Tuscany, and nearby hamlet, which lie some 8 km east of the town. The new name was decided in 1992.

Canossa © Bucaramango/cc-by-sa-3.0 Canossa-Rock_of_Canossa_with_the_ruins_of_the_castle_at_the_top-Simona65-cc-by-sa-3.0 Castle of Canossa © Paolo da Reggio/cc-by-2.5 Canossa Castle on a cold winter night © Giorgio Galeotti/cc-by-4.0 Canossa Castle © Giorgio Galeotti/cc-by-4.0 Canossa Castle © Maurizio Moro5153/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Rock of Canossa with the ruins of the castle at the top © Simona65/cc-by-sa-3.0
Canossa Castle was built before the middle of the 10th century by Adalbert Atto, son of Sigifred of Lucca. Adelaide of Italy, in the 10th century the daughter, daughter-in-law, and widow in turn of three kings, was hard pressed by a local nobleman, Berengar of Ivrea, who declared himself king of Italy, abducted Adelaide, and tried to legitimize his reign by forcing Adelaide to marry his son Adalbert; but she escaped to Canossa. From the rocca of Canossa she called for German intervention. Canossa was inherited by Matilda of Tuscany, the principal Italian supporter of Pope Gregory VII, in 1052. Matilda invited Pope Gregory VII to take refuge in Canossa Castle in 1076/77 during the dispute with Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor. In the end their joint fears proved groundless when Henry appeared in the guise of a penitent and begged for forgiveness and reinstatement in the church. After three days of waiting at the castle gates, Henry was admitted and forgiven.

The fortress was destroyed by invaders from Reggio Emilia in 1256. The church of San Apollonio, within the castle walls and contemporary with the castle, was also destroyed. Only the christening font remains, preserved in the Naborre Campanini national museum next to the remains of the wall. Perched on top of the white cliffs of the Apennines, the castle is a ruin today. More than 30,000 tourists come here each year, especially from Germany. The nearby Tempietto del Petrarca, Canossa celebrates the refuge of Petrarch offered here by a local warlord.

Read more on Canossa and Wikipedia Canossa (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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