The Modern Era. The sixteenth and the seventeenth century
The Firmians in Mezzocorona, the Spaurs in Mezzolombardo and Nave San Rocco, and the Thuns in Königsberg/Montereale Castle in Faedo were some of the most important families in the region and key players in the economic and cultural development of the Piana Rotaliana in the sixteenth century.
Of the many famous people who sojourned in this region during their travels, one of the most well-known is, of course, the Emperor Maximilian I, who stayed at the Augustinian monastery in San Michele all’Adige in 1516. The chess board bearing his name painted on the wall of one of the monastery's courtyards recalls this visit.
In 1525 the poorer sections of the population joined in the uprising known as the “German Peasants' War”, a revolt of peasants and farmers that started in Germany and spread to this region with insurrections in particular in Mezzocorona and Mezzolombardo.
Following the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), the religious communities provided an important stimulus to the region's recovery: Franciscan friars built their convent in Mezzolombardo (1661), while the Augustinian order was the driving force behind the reconstruction in Baroque style of the church of the Augustinian monastery in San Michele all’Adige. The church was consecrated in 1698 by the Prince-Bishop of Trento, Count Giovanni Michele of Spaur, who was also a native of Mezzolombardo.
From the seventeenth to the eighteenth centuries many villages underwent significant expansion. Numerous buildings were restored and their interiors often decorated, as was the case with the rectory and Palazzo Firmian in Mezzocorona. Much of the decoration in the latter building was carried out by the famous Austrian painter Paul Troger (1698, Monguelfo – 1762, Vienna) .
As the Napoleonic Wars spread to the region in the eighteenth century, the local Schützen (riflemen), who could be found in every village, came out fighting in defence of their lands: important battles took place at Lavis (September 1796 and February 1797) and at Faedo (27th and 28th September 1796).
At the end of the eighteenth century, various military upheavals brought with them frequent changes of rulers, and in 1803 even the Prince-Bishopric of Trento came to an end.