Entry price: € 5.00
€ 2 over 65. Free up to 12 years
From April 24 to October: 15-19 every Sunday. Guided tours for groups by reservation
Telephone: +39 0522 887904
MOBILE: +39 0522 887904
FAX: +39 0522 249298
INFOLINE: +39 0522 249267
Access to the monument area and nature oasis is forbidden to all motor vehicles. It is possible to visit the castle upon guided tour only.
The castles were defensive outposts in a first line of defence for Canossa against attack coming from the direction of Lombardy or the alpine passes.
Over the centuries Bianello was both stronghold and home to the Canossa family until the mid-18th century when it became a noble residence.
The castle is a compact building, its outer walls built to a polygonal plan.
A stone tablet at the entrance to the castle walls bears the inscription: "Comitissae Matildis opus", but the castle, and the other three, are in fact of earlier construction.
The origins of the castle as a lookout tower can be traced back to the 10th century. Matilda herself resided almost habitually at Bianello and it was here that she hosted a penitent Henry V before the historic meeting of 1077. Popes and princes were guests at Bianello and in 1111 Matilda received Henry V after his coronation in Rome and was herself proclaimed by him Imperial Vicar in Italy.
These were the beginnings of the peace established at the Concorde of Worms ten years later.
After the death of Matilda the castle remained in the Canossa family.
The castle then underwent numerous transformations which changed it into a noble residence, but it still conserves some interesting elements of the original stronghold and in one of the rooms a painting of the 14th century depicting Matilda holding a pomegranate flower and the words "tuetur et unit".
From the castle there is an exceptional panorama of one of the most fertile valleys in the world.
Matilda's residence and Henry V's visits are commemorated in a celebration of the events which has been repeated annually for the last twenty years, and which has seen the creation of the "Matilda Prize"
At the foot of the hill is a church, restored several times over the years, which conserves an interesting carved lunette, an architrave decorated with floral patterns and a hand raised in blessing, and several stone fragments decorated with the simple, refined art typical of buildings, especially religious buildings, of that time.
Source: local Staff Reggio Emilia