Matilda of Canossa


42026 Canossa


They are certainly very few women who played a role in weight in medieval history: among them the figure of Matilda of Canossa stands out because it was his charisma that he modeled in his image and likeness almost a territory, the cheese of the Apennines, which still proudly displays signs of its passage. Born probably in 1046 by Boniface of Canossa and Beatrice of Lorraine, Matilda of Canossa inherits his father's possessions (which will join those of Godfrey of Lorraine) would have even the control of a vast territory that includes most of the plains of Emilia and Verona, the Tuscia and the cheese of the Apennines. After a brief marriage to Godfrey the Hunchback, Matilda comes in the limelight of history openly siding next to the papacy during the fierce struggle between this and the empire. As a second cousin of Emperor Henry IV, following the excommunication imposed on this in 1073 by Pope Gregory VII, Matilde serves as a reconciler between the two institutions with the highest peak of the famous meeting in January 1077 at the Castle Canossa, where tradition has it that Henry IV had to humble himself before Gregory VII for the withdrawal of the excommunication.
The intense and sincere religiosity Matilda is proven by the many churches in the area: the case of small churches built with blocks of sandstone, characterized by architectural elements 'proto-Romanesque' capitals, doorways and mullioned windows, not infrequently arisen on the initiative direct the Countess. Although it is in most cases heavily modified by subsequent reconstructions, the parishes of Matilda, inserted in unique natural settings, retain the charm of an intense spirituality.
Even more of the territory of the High churches cheese is strongly characterized by its many castles: they are mostly what remains of triple concentric circles which formed the impenetrable defensive structure of the possessions of Matilda. The first circle squeezed between their fortresses located in the Po Valley, where four and castles around Albinea Bianello, which in turn protected a second circle of the Apennine castles built in so you can visually check each other: this is where Canossa castles (everybody can understand what he is traveling to the view that you could be enjoying a huge reassurance to the forces of Matilda), Rossena Baiso. The center of this powerful defensive structure was the castle of Carpinete, perched at 805 m. high on the summit of Mount Antognano: perhaps this is said to be a favorite of Matilda.
After the 1077 Matilda had to deal with the reaction of Henry IV, who stripped her of the domains had been granted to the imperial investiture, that caused cities like Mantova, Lucca, Modena and Parma. The territories were returned only with the rise of the imperial throne of Henry V and the resulting reinvestitura of 1111: The relationship between Matilda and the new emperor, as well as between the empire and the papacy, were now ahead of the agreed riconfigurandosi Worms. Matilda, however, came out of the limelight retreating to more isolated lives in San Benedetto Polirone, where he died in 1115, perhaps as a result of gout. From 1635 to St. Peter rests in the tomb for her sculpted by Bernini.


Piazza Matteotti, 28 - loc. Ciano d'Enza, 42026 Canossa (RE)
0522 248411, 0522 248450

Last update: December 12, 2023