Canossa: a medieval clash between church and state

In 1076, with his entire realm ungovernable following his excommunication from the church, Henry IV, King of Germany, set across the Alps to meet with Pope Gregory VII, in the hope of reversing his decision. Here, Tom Holland, the author of Millennium, follows the road to the Appenine fortress of Canossa, where the mighty medieval clash between church and state helped form the world we live in today

Henry IV of Germany asking for the forgiveness of Pope Gregory VII in Canossa in 1077. (Photo by De Agostini/Getty Images)

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