Canoss Castle and Village – 530 mslm

The rough suggestiveness of the ruins of the Canossa castle, imbued with the echo of the dramatic encounter between the Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV, rises out of a sandstone peak overlooking the Badlands.

It is the true symbol of the great power achieved between the X and the XII cent. by the noble family Da Canossa and especially by Countess Matilde, who lived here and held a key role in the ferocious contrasts between the Pope and the Empire, among which stands out the celebrated episode of the “humiliation” of Emperor Henry IV before Pope Gregory VII, which took place in Canossa in the winter of 1077.

The original core of the castle is likely date back to the 10 century and afterwards two rings of walls, the monastery and the church St. Apollonius, besides the storehouses and granaries.

The archaeological excavations began at the end of the ‘800s, under the supervision of a Don Gaetano Chierici, a Catholic priest and scientist-archaeologist. The excavations allowed to reconstruct at least hypothetically the Canossa settlement, of which today survive only few, but suggestive remains.

However, over the last years, new excavations have been revealing significant traces of the ancient village that must developed at the foot of the cliff.

Today, it is possible to visit both the Castle’s ruins and the National Museum Naborre Campanini that holds important documents and archaeological findings among which an extraordinary baptismal font.

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