Collalto

Collalto

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There are some historical indications that the first count of Collalto was baptised by Saint Prosdocimus, the Bishop of Padua, who arrived in Treviso 150 years after Christ! But more accurate records, though, conclusively confirm that they were of Longobard origin, a Germanic people originally from Northern Europe, and that they settled in Treviso, which is the nearby city, and, as the Counts of Treviso, exercised political and administrative control over that city for a long period, until they resettled in the Susegana hills. By the 12th century the family had extended its fiefdom to the left bank of the Piave River, and built the Castles of Collalto, and of San Salvatore. By the end of the Middle Ages San Salvatore was one of the biggest Castles in Northern Italy. During the long periods of peace that Venice experienced, the Castle remained unconquered and flourished in a time in which many artists and musicians visited and wrote about the Castle. The 1800’s was a thriving period for the region and also for Castle San Salvatore. The Estate became even more active, and new agricultural methods and experimental techniques were skilfully developed and applied in the agricultural pursuits of the Count. The 1900s were marred by the First World War, with the river Piave becoming the centrepiece of some of the most barbarous battles seen in that war, and the Castle, which had been forcibly occupied by the Austrian army, was extensively bombed by the Italian artillery, and severely destroyed, a desolate landscape with only a part of its glorious buildings intact; the churches on the Estate devastated; the big tower, the hamlet and its enclosure walls all devastated and turned into mere rubble. The Count’s sense of honour and responsibility ensured that he could not accept such a situation, and he immediately started a long and demanding period of reconstruction and restoration of the Castle and its surrounding land. This onerous task was undertaken by the late Prince Manfredo of Collalto, and the gargantuan task was only concluded in 2003 when Palazzo Odoardo was finally refurbished and restored to its original splendour.

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