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  Hotel Select ***
Via Vittorio Veneto, 10
42027 Montecchio E.
(Reggio Emilia)
Tel. 0522.86.46.93
Fax 0522.86.25.21
info@hotel-select.it


L'HOTEL

cast1HISTORICAL OUTLINE
The Montecchio Emilia fortress stands, on the right bank of the river "Enza" about halfway between Parma and Reggio Emilia.

It overlooks the ancient city centre and it is undoubtedly one of the most outstnding fortfied castles belonging to the Age of "Matilde di Canossa", in this area.

The exact period when the fortress was founded is still uncertain but, for sure, it already existed in 1114 as mentioned in a 1259 Decree called "Castrum Vetus".

The oldest part of it probably already existed in the 10th Century A.C. The fortress was the object of fierce quarrels between the Bishops and the Parma Government in the 13th Century. After the period, the "Cicedomini, The "Visconti" and the "Este" families owned it in turns.

cast3In 1426, Montecchio Emilia fell under the dominition of the "Estense" family and, thanks to its strategic situation it became a "Marquisate" in 1562. Montecchio Emilia was under the Estense until the unity of Italy.


THE ITINERARY OF THE VISIT
Recent archeological excavations in teh dungeon, have brought to light the original foundation of the castle and a wide Carolingian burial ground. So far 28 tombs have been explored; they are arranged in a ritual "east-west" direction. This burial ground was used for at least two/three centuries.

The visit to the dungeon ends with a "calcara", the lime-kiln, which was in use in the 10th and 11th Century, and the traces of the ancient foundations of the "S.Ambrogio" chapel. Going upstairs from the dungeon, there is the bridge tower, where the Army Corps were and the original main entrance to the fortress where the draw bridge was.

Going up the 16th Century spiral staircase leading to the first floor, called "the noble floor" we can see the library with itscast2 17th Century chapel.

cast4

Inside the donjon there is a fascinating 14th Century fresco representing a Virgin with Child and Saints.

The painting denotes that was a prestigious dwelling place and shows an exquisite chromatic and stylistic workmanship.

It was presumably done by a skilled master, in gothic style and the Giotto influence is clear.

 
credits: brucomela comunicazione