Matilde di Canossa

Matilde di Canossa

Countess, duchess, marquise and medieval queen

The first woman of power in medieval times, Mathilde von Tuszien now lives in the legend

Matilda of Canossa, the only woman whose monumental tomb is hosted in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome together with that of Queen Christina of Sweden, was the most representative female exponent of the European Middle Ages, and played a fundamental role in the conflict between Church and State. Thanks to her mediation, the heir of Charles the Great begged forgiveness of the Pope.

Henry IV made his way to Canossa where the Pope was staying in the castle of Countess Matilda. He did penance in the snow outside the castle for three days. Finally, Pope Gregory VII gave absolution to him. This happened in the morning of January 28, 1077, at the height of Matilda's power. Over the course of the next few years, Matilda tried to reinforce and enlarge her feud until she met the new Emperor Henry V, son of her ancient enemy, who appointed her vice-queen of Italy in the Castle of Bianello: For the first time in history, a political nucleus was created in Italy that was neither dependant on Pope nor on the Germanic imperial power. This event is celebrated every year during the Historical parade of Quattro Castella.

Another important event worthy of mention is the Historical Parade of Canossa. Terre di Matilde are now the heart of a fascinating cultural tour across the sweet hills and gentle slopes of Reggio-Emilia, that are still dominated by the imposing castles of the Great Countess



  • Mantua, March 1046 - Bondeno of Roncore, July 24, 1115
  • 6 years when witnesses the death of his father
  • 30 years she's the only undisputed ruler of all the lands ranging from Lazio region to Lake Garda.
  • 40 years of reign
  • 120 days the duration of the wedding party organized for Guelph V
  • In 1111 Matilde was named "Queen of Italy" and "Imperial Vicar"

Focus On