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Title: Canossa  
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Subject: Luceria, Matilda of Tuscany, Fritzlar, Count of Canossa, Walk to Canossa
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Comune di Canossa
View of the Rock of Canossa with the ruins of the castle visible at the top
View of the Rock of Canossa with the ruins of the castle visible at the top
Coat of arms of Canossa
Coat of arms
Canossa is located in Italy
Location of Canossa in Italy
Country Italy
Region Emilia-Romagna
Province Reggio Emilia (RE)
Frazioni Albareto, Borzano Chiesa, Borzano di Sopra, Borzano di Sotto, Braglie, Casalino, Cavandola, Ceredolo de' Coppi, Ceredolo dei Coppi Nuovo, Cerezzola, Ciano d'Enza, Compiano, Crognolo, Currada, Dirotte, Fornace, Gazzolo, Iagarone, Massalica, Monchio delle Olle, Pietranera, Roncaglio, Roncovetro, Rossena, Selva, Selvapiana, Solara, Trinità, Vedriano, Verlano, Votigno
 • Mayor Enzo Musi
 • Total 53 km2 (20 sq mi)
Highest elevation 689 m (2,260 ft)
Lowest elevation 112 m (367 ft)
Population (31 May 2007)
 • Total 3,617
 • Density 68/km2 (180/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Canossani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 42263
Dialing code 0522
Website Official website

Canossa (Province of Reggio Emilia) is a comune and castle town in Emilia-Romagna, famous as the site where Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV did penance in 1077, standing three days bare-headed in the snow, in order 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.

Canossa has a population of 3,376, 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,[1] and nearby hamlet, which lie some 8 km (about 5 mi.) east of the town. In 1992, however, the municipality and town were renamed Canossa after the most renowned few acres of its territory.

Main sights

Matilda with Hugo of Cluny and Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV.

Canossa Castle was built before the middle of the 10th century by Adalbert Atto, son of Sigifred of Lucca.

  1. ^  
  2. ^ This event is described in greater detail in the article Walk to Canossa.

See also

Saint Magdalen of Canossa is an Italian saint of the early 19th century, who founded the Institute of the Daughters of Charity and in whose name Canossian schools have been established in many countries.


The nearby Tempietto del Petrarca, Canossa celebrates the refuge of Petrarch offered here by a local warlord.

Perched spectacularly on top of the white cliffs of the Apennines, the castle is a ruin today. Because of its historical importance more than 30,000 tourists come here each year, especially from Germany.

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.

Matilda died in 1115 in Mantuan territory. [2]

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