Via Castello, Canossa, (Reggio Emilia)
The ruins of the Castle of Canossa rising above a cliff of white sandstone, now reduced to a limited portion of the originally fortified area, due to the phenomenon of erosion of the soil. The characteristics of the surrounding landscapes and historical heritage make it a place of extraordinary interest. It was built around 940 by Adalberto Azzo, from Lombard, and became the center of a complex defensive system used to control the mountain valleys and plains. In 950 Adelaide, widow of Lothair I, king of Italy, found refuge in this castle. The fame of Canossa is linked to the historic meeting on 27 January 1077, between the owners Countess Matilda and the Abbot, Hugh of Cluny, and Pope Gregory VII who excommunicated Emperor Henry IV and forced him to grant him absolution. Over the centuries the castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times, but the archaeological investigations have brought to light many elements. In 1878, after it was purchased by the Italian government, it was declared a National Monument. The site is also set up as a small museum "Naborre Campanini", which houses artifacts from the excavations of the castle, during the years 1877 and 1893. The contents of the museum relate to many themes, from the time of Countess Matilda to the history of the excavation and the history of the Castle to the surrounding area.