House of Candia

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The House of Candia (also called "Candida" in Latin) is a European dynastic house, from the seat at the Barony of Candé and later through their union to the Hauteville or Altavilla, that traditionally had domains in Piedmont and the Kingdoms of Italy. The first family unions and lands registry were recorded by the Prevosto of Ivrea in regard to the fiefdoms of Candia Canavese and Candia Lomellina, and then by the Prince-Bishops of Geneva and their fort-castle at Chambéry-Le-Vieux under the name "Chateau de Candie", there are also registries of properties and family unions in the Piedmont recorded by the Podestà of Ivrea of their fiefdom and castle in Candia Canavese and Lomellina under the name of Castrum Kandian or Castello di Candia today known as "Castelfiorito" de Candia Canavese. They were, and continue to be considered, vassals of the head House of Savoy.
Eventually became united to the Royal House of Greece by marriage, its members relocated worldwide during and after the World War II.

STEMMA CANDIÆ Arms of Candia from the Savoyard Heraldry Registry, Château de Candie, Chambéry-Le-Vieux, France

Ancient Origin[edit]

The Lords and Barons of Candia were descendents of the Norman Robert Guiscard d'Hauteville founders of the dynastic House of Candia[dubious ] registered vassals of the counts of Forez. (Reference, Dossier: Aïeux de la ligné de Candé et du Lion d'angers, N° notice: IA49002301(c) Inventaire général, 2001, Commune de Candé, France)

1) The de Candé du Lion d'Angers line, or first house: Payen de Candé was the first Lord of the Anjou-Chateaubriant to hold this name, from his fiefdom and old castle of Cande, he was married to Mahaut de Lion d'Angers. Their daughter was Mahaut de Candé (Aïeux de la ligné de Candé et du Lion d'angers) married to Foulques le Normand de Petit-Montrevault (Aïeux de la ligné de Montrevault, Doué et Saumur); their son was Geoffroy Rorgon de Candé, seigneur de Candé et du Lion-d'Angers, Lord of Castle and Barony of Candé. Geodfrey crossed France and entered Italy following count Hugues de Vermandois and Robert Duke of Normandy to Bari, on their way to liberate Jerusalem. Geodfrey Rorgon (de Candé et du Lion d'angers) died in Palestine around 1100. His sons received the old Castle-Fort of Candé and the fiefdoms in Savoy-Piedmont, and his younger brother the fiefdom of Montreuil in Anjou; the descendents fashioned the name in the Gallo-Roman style de Candiæ (Ref: Histoire de la baronnie de Candé, Maine et Loire, par Odile Halbert)

2) The de Candiæ Savoyard line, or second house: The house was issued by Roger de Candiæ son of Odo son of Crispin of the Anglo-Norman House of Crepon[dubious ], in 1050 in the Principality of Geneva. Later his lineage under count Roger de Candie of Chambéry married Isabelle de Croan-Nevers of the House of l’Entre-deux-Mers; marriage registered in Chambéry in 1212 by the Prince-Bishops of Geneva. They held fiefdoms in Savoy and Piemont under the title of de Candie Vice-Counts of Geneva of the Principality of Geneva. This family originated from the evolution of the Holy Roman Empire, from a junior branch of the House of Crépon[dubious ].

Later one of their branches became known as an Italian lineage, called Saint-Severin or de Candida Filangieri Sanseverino.

The "House of Candia" (Italian: "Casa Candia or Candida", French: "Maison de Candie", "Maison de Chandie" and "Old Maison de Candé") is a dynasty of Western Europe that became part of the Sapaudia Novilitas, the nobility of the Kingdom of Sardinia later parts of Italy, France and Switzerland. The house began its legacy during the Crusades as Knights Templar and has links to the Swiss Guards and the Benedictine monks. They recorded history by their dealings as Viscounts of Geneva the official Latin term "vicedominus Genevarum", a feudal title in old France and Switzerland. They ruled the Vidame or "Vidominus" of the Prince-Bishops of Geneva. Originally de Candie was created from the union of a junior branch of the House of Crépon of Denmark at Normandie[clarification needed] and the House of Croan-Nevers, that in the 10th century settled in the Alps region of the Kingdom of Lotharingia (German: Lotharingien. Subsequently, they relocated their seat to the Kingdom of Burgundy on Lake Geneva and part of the Alps region later the Duchy of Savoy (today’s parts of French Savoy, the Italian Piedmont and the Swiss Lake of Geneva region).

Though originally a simple noble family, the Candie later heirs to a large account of feudal possessions and titles across Europe always supported by their strong links to the Holy See. Along the crusades and thereafter through conquest, marriage, and diplomacy this house successors expanded their holdings in France, Switzerland, and Italy; including lordships in Chambéry-LeVieux, Arneis-Langhe, Candia Canavese, Candida, Bugey, Apulia, Sardinia, Nice, and Spain.

Historical records[edit]

François de Candia, Lord of Derruyere in Savoy, became Viscount of Geneva. He was from the line of the De Candia of Bresse whom came from "Borgo San Dalmazzo" ( also called "Dalmatie" in French).

Frank of Candie (French= François de Candie, Italian= Franco de Candia), 1er Viscount of Geneva, c. 1314 - 26 Dec 1360). This territory today belongs to the Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg. François was a Swiss-Savoyard noble, who married the second daughter of the prince of Geneva. Along his service for the Prince-Bishop of Geneva he was the commander in Chief of the troops that controlled the Alps passages and the legal doings of the Vidominus. In 1377 François de Candie was Captain of the Castle of the Rodan (French= capitaine du château de l'Ile sur le Rhône). He was educated by the clergy at the Monastery of Sion (German Sitten) of the Catholic Swiss Knights. According to academic registries, François was a skilled diplomat and strategist. He mastered Latin, French, Italian, German and Greek.

He represented the interests of Geneva in the main courts of Europe; this created great tension to the family from the most powerful houses of Europe. In 1453 from their seat as Vidames and Chief of the Catholic Swiss Knights, they protected the secrecy and guarded the Holy Shroud (Shroud of Turin) in position of the Duke of Savoy at their seat in the Castle of Chambéry. Since 1578, the Holy Shroud was moved to Turin, where it has remained until today. The title of Viscount of Geneva is a hereditary title regulated by Salic Law, as such the family enjoyed its ruling until the Swiss Referéndum or Protestant Reformation. Today the title is gentility to the family. This branch had many descendents and expanded into Italy and France:

This is a list of selected titles held by the family: (A more extensive list can be reviewed at the Library of the Dukes of Candia.)

  • Candie (de) Marquis of Candia (XVII), Signior d'Arneis del Roero (En: Lord of Arnes, Fr: d’Arnès)
  • Candie (de) Baron of Lüneburg, (French= Loese, English= Lunenberg or Lueneburg), in Saxony)
  • Candie (de) Lord of Bresse (JM7595)
  • Candie (de) Viscount of Genèva, Lord of Loese, in Savoy
  • Candie (de) Lordship of Chateau de Candie, of Chaffardon, Valley of the Cly
  • Candia (de) Marquis of Saint-Simon, Castle of Candia-Le-Vieux or the Saint-Simon in Languedoc today Domain of Candia
  • Candia (de) Royal Governor General of Nice, under the Savoy's Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont
  • Candia (de) Counts of Gattanei, linked to the Borgia family via Vannozza dei Cattanei.

The Turin shroud or called "La Sindone di Torino" can be clearly traced back to the Lirey in the Diocese of Troyes, where we first hear of it about the year 1360. In 1453 it was at Chambéry in Savoy, and there in 1532 it narrowly escaped being consumed by a fire which by charring the corners of the folds has left a uniform series of marks on either side of the image. Since 1578, it has remained at Turin where it is now only exposed for veneration at long intervals. ("de Sancta Sindone" was formerly approved by Julius II in the Bull "Romanus Pontifex" of 25 April 1506, in the course of which the Pope speaks of "that most famous Shroud præclarissima sindone)


Anselm of Canterbury was born under the name "Anselmus Candiae Genavae" (Italian: Anselmo de Candia Ginevra, French: Anselm de Candie Genève) near Aosta in the Kingdom of Burgundy (currently the capital of the Aosta Valley region in Northern Italy) around 1033. His family was noble (they were related by blood to the ascendant House of Savoy) and owned considerable property. His parents were from a noble lineage and holders of fiefdoms within the Burgandian territories. His father was Gundulf de Candia and his mother Ermenberga of Geneva, related to Otto, Count of Savoy.

Southern Italy[edit]

In 1050, the Candia has it first incursion in Southern Italy with Angerio de Candie, a crusader knight, under the command of Roger of Hauteville, later became Roger I of Sicily. Angerio’s remains are resting at the Benedictine Chapel of the S.S. Trinita di Cava de'Tirreni, under the description of Norman knight, son of Roger of Candie count of Arnes (Italian Ruggero de Candia) of the lineage of Rollon 1st Duke of Normandy.

From this incursion and marriage they obtained the fiefdom of Candida in 1187 (Italian Terra Candida) which they kept for generations, registered under count Alduym de Candie called in Italian Alduino de Candida of Avellino Curia Regis Lord of Candida Master of the Royal Court (Italian Maestro della Regia Corte) and Lord Judge of Bari who married in 1250 countess Giordana de Tricarico Sanseverino lady of Solofra, until 1420 Candida belonged to the de Candia when Catherine Filangie de Candie (Italian=Caterina Filangieri de Candia) gave Candida as a dowry to Sergianni Caracciolo. This marriage entered the fiefdoms into the Caracciolo Dynasty, as recorded in the Abby of Cava di Terreni, Jean Caracciol Napolitein or Gianni Caracciolo di Napoli Duke of Melphes and Venossa (+ 18 August 1432), married Catherine Filangieri de Candia Countess of Avellino. They had two descendants: Jérôme (murdered in 1426) and Troy or Trojan I Duke of Melfi (French= duc de Melphes). This lineage was also related to the Gonzaga o Gonzague family of Matua under the denomination of Candida-Gonzaga or Candie-Gonzague, and the Prince of San Severo in Apulia.


The first registry of the Castle of Candia was compiled before 1100. The Catalagus Baronum, Catalogue of Baronies, written from 1150 to 1168 of the lordships and fiefdoms of the Kingdom is signed by Roger II of Sicily (Italian= Ruggero II di Sicilia), it recorded the lordships of Candia o Candida, Lapio, and Arianiello as properties of count Alduino de Candia son of Ruggero son of Oldoino Odo de Candia son of Crispin of the (Latin= genti Lortomanne, ovvero Normanne) Normans of the Lotherian people.

Latin= "Candium est feudum ij militum, Lapigia et arcanellum feudum ij militum... hoc tenet Guidus et Rogerius frater eius qui emerunt illud a Curia... Rogerius emit Candidam, et non emerunt nisi solum quod Alduynus de Candida tenebat in Demanio".

In the second part of the Catalogue Baronum is written: Latin= Candida est feudum ij militum, Lapigia et arcanellum feudum ij militum... hoc tenet Guidus et Rogerius frater eius qui emerunt illud a Curia... Rogerius emit Candidam, et non emerunt nisi solum quod Alduynus de Candida tenebat in Demanio. Candium (Candida o Candia) is a lordship of 2 fiefdoms, Lapio and Arianiello is also a lordship of 2 fiefdoms ... assets of Guido and Ruggiero, his brother, whom acquired it from the Curia... Ruggiero purchased Candida, and only what Alduino de Candida considered a dominium.

Northern Italy[edit]

Piedmont 1164 the Sirs of Candia had registered a fiefdom under the mane of Candium with diploma of Frederick I during the domain of Pavia. The Podesta of Ivrea in 1205 issued nobility and lordship of the Castrum Candia to the brothers Guglielmo, Giacomo, and Enrico in what is today the territory of Candia Canavese. In 1241 we found the name in the registry of the fiefdom of Candia Lomellina under count Henry of Candia (Italian = Enrico de Candia, in local dialect Chendiâ or Kentia), he rebuild the original castle badly damage by the attacks of the Marquis of Montferrat, the Visconti, and various local enemies; in addition Henry built a Chapel.
Enrico de Candia holdings included the Castle of Candia Canavese and lordships of Candium Laumellorum, Villata and Roncone; cartographic charters and registries of Agro dei Levi. In 1603, the registry was under count Gianangelo de Candia. These territories were hereditary controlled by the family until 1707 when the Candia Lomellina passed to the ruling of the Duke of Savoy; by then the Candia Laumellorum lineage became a Chatelaine family of the House of Savoy as they were in Chambéry.
De Candia branch of Toscany:
Guittoncino dei Sinibaldi de Candia Pistoia, known as Cino da Pistoia or Cinus de Sighibuldis, taught law at the universities of Siena, Florence, Perugia, and Naples. Cino's most important legal work was Lectura in codicem (1312–1314), a commentary on the Justinian Code.

Enrico de Candia Pistoia, Henry, Count of Malta was a Genoese Lord of Candia (at birth count Enrico de Candia in Candia Canavese, Piedmont), adventurer, privateer and pirate active in the Mediterranean at the beginning of the 13th century.

Family Heraldry of
the Italian Branch,
De Candia Pistoia,
Lord of Prato

Enrico was a member of the House of Candia from the Toscany branch of the "dei conti de Candia-Pistoia". He was known as Enrico Pescatore (Pescatore, 'fisherman' in Italian, being a nickname), or Pistore a nickname derived from his seat at his fiefdom of Pistoia in Florance part of the Duchy of Toscany. He took part in the occupation of Crete and obtained a little fiefdom where today is the Venetian fort-castle that gave the name to the island during medieval times.
Leonardo de Candia Pistoia, called Leonardo of Pistoia, was a monk dedicated to the study ancien Greek text focused on Hermetism. In 1460 he brought the famous "Corpus Hermeticum" manuscript to the court of Cosimo de'Medici, ruler of Florence, the original text in Greek was traslated by Marsilio Ficino into Latin and in an Italian adaptation. The manuscript was considered a valuable work coming out of Alexandria at the beginning of the Christian era that combined Hellenic, Gnostic, Egiptian cosmology, and Judaic esoteric mysticism.


Pedro de Candia, Grandee of Spain, he was registered at birth under the Savoyard nobility of Piemont as Prince-Count Pietro de Cândia at the Castle-Fort of Crete, * 1485 – killed in battle at Chupas (Peru), 16 September + 1542), he became a Spanish Conquistador, Grandee of Spain, "Almirant of the Spanish Armada of the Southern Seas", author and travel writer, recorded the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Eventually the Queen of Spain named Don Pedro de Candia, 2nd Alcalde of Cuzco at the Kingdom of Peru of the Spanish Catholic Crown, from 1534 to 1535. He was born at the Island of Crete, during a period that was under the domain of Italy of the Savoyard-Piemont crown, descendent of Italian nobility from the House of Candia at the fiefdom of Candia-Hiraclion on the Island of Crete; he eventually became a Greek and during the Ottoman occupation of Crete he lost his family and was saved by one of his mother's relatives at the service of the Crown of Aragon who took him to Italy. During his period in Italy he became a Condottieri and trained in the Arms, before transferring to the Iberian peninsula to serve the Spanish Catholic Queen and King. Pedro was eventually married at Villalpando, by nobiliary arrangement to one of the daughters of the Count of Benavente, Zamora of the Dukedom of the House of Osuna. His descendent were part of the Spanish and Italian nobility with holdings in regions of Europe and eventually additional new lands in the Americas during the colonization.

  • Louise de Candia-Borgia d'Albret, born princess on 17 May 1500 (1500–1553), better known as Louise Borgia.

Contemporary history[edit]


De Candia Del Medigo a Cretan Jewish branch of the family, recorded as Maimonides on the island of Crete historical registries under the Doges' control of the Venetian Republic. This archives are indicating that this branch of the family had emigrated from Germany to Crete, and then relocated to Rome before settling in Padua and northern Italy, there are also entries of family members relocating to Spain, this branch included several notables, among them:

  • Elia de Candia del Medigo (1458–1493), philosopher and Talmudist
  • Joseph Solomon Candia Delmedigo (1591–1655), scientist and philosopher
  • Pietro de Candia "Il Greco"


In 1713 an Antonio Candia or di Candia or De Candia came from Torre del Greco to Alghero, Sardinia, as shipping for corals fishing. Her son Serafino di Candia or De Candia became the most important owner of coral's fleet in the town, with 245 boats in 1750.[1] The marriage certificate registry of Serafin of Candia and Teresa Simon is kept is in the archive of the Bishop of Alghero. In 1779 Serafino de Candia obtained the royal privilege and diploma with the title of Cavaliere Nobile (noble knight) and the use of don (corresponding to the British "Sir") for himself and his wife as well as all their descent in male line under royal seal and decree signed by Victor Amadeus III, king of Sardinia, Cyprus and Jerusalem. They were registered as nobles and part of the Savoy court in Turin; these titles were recognized by the Kingdom of Italy. Serafino's descendants are registered in the Golden Book of the Italian Nobility.[2] There are no documents about any connection between the old house of Candia and the De Candia of Torre del Greco and Alghero, whose nobility dates to 1779. The coats of arms are completely different, too.

From this house, who later went to Cagliari, was issued the famous tenor Mario, whose real name was Cavaliere Giovanni Matteo De Candia; Mario was considered among the most famous tenors of the 19th century. He married[citation needed] the extraordinary opera singer Giulia Grisi. They traveled all over Europe and to United States and kept houses in Paris and Florence in Villa Salviati. They had six daughters, in the United Kingdom and in Paris. Their daughter Cecilia Pearse became a well-known writer of a biography of her father; she married in London in 1872 Godfrey Pearse Esquire.

After World War II the family was dispersed; today they are living in parts of Switzerland, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, the USA and Argentina.


Portraits of one of the most beautiful women in history, from the late 1400s, were of Simonetta Cattaneo de Candia, better known by her married name as Simonetta Vespucci, painted by Sandro Botticelli. These paintings are currently kept at Berlin Museum. Painting at the Gemäldegalerie Berlin

The Candiæ were diplomatically skilled, and gained control over strategic passes in the Swiss-French Alps and in Southern Italy. This advancement in their feudal affaires caused the great powers of Europe; such as France, England, and Spain to take into account the negotiations of the Candia head of family. They contributed a great deal in the expansion of European culture and the Catholic faith in Europe, Jerusalem and along the conquest of the Americas. Their legacy a collection of documents and information, such as the cartographic work of count Carlo de Candia or the poems of Gauvain de Candie, this legacy is kept in the Library of the Dukes of Candia.

  • Gauvain de Candie, count of Berruyre, novelist and poet, in 1475 at age 28 he composed the famous Chason recited poems to the ducal couple of Marguerite of Austria and Philibert II, Duke of Savoy.
  • Anselm of Canterbury was from the House of Candia, born under the name "Anselmus Candiae Genavae" (Italian: Anselmo de Candia Ginevra, French: Anselm de Candie Genève) in the Kingdom of Burgundy (currently the capital of the Aosta Valley region in Northern Italy) around 1033. His parents were from noble lineage and holders of fiefdoms within the Burgandian territories. His father was count Gundulf de Candia, and his mother princess Ermenberga of Geneva; making him related by blood to Otto, Count of Savoy.
  • Simonetta Vespucci, she was born as Simonetta Cattaneo de Candia circa 1453 in Liguria, by birth she was a noble lady of the House of Candia and the House of Volta. Her father was a Genoese nobleman named Gaspare Cattaneo Della Volta, and her mother was his wife, Cattocchia Spinola de Candia
  • "Giuseppe Mario" was the Marquis de Candia, Cavaliere Giovanni Matteo de Candia, considered the most famous tenor of the 19th century.
  • Countess Cecilia Maria de Candia-Pearse became a well-known biographical writer, wife of Lord Pearse from the British nobility.

The monarchy ended with the 1946 referendum by which Italians chose the republic as the form of state (see also birth of the Italian Republic). Under the Constitution of the Italian Republic, all Italian titles were frozen until today. The de Candia family today enjoy the memory and legacy of their ancestry.


Map of Savoy in the 16th century, white lines are modern borders

The House of Candiæ ( Italian= Casa Candia, French= Maison de Candie) is a dynasty of nobles who traced their lineage to the 'Castrum Candia' (Castello di Candia in Candia Canavese, Italy) and their fiefdom of the Castle of Candie (Château de Candie situé a Chambéry-le-Vieux) built by a Burgundes count who named his feudal state in honour of Skaend or Scandia (Scandinavian Goddess and mother of Europa) other sources mentioned the relation to Candidus a previous member of the family, they traditionally had their domain near Chambéry in the Duchy of Savoy, today part of France, and the Kingdom of Sardinia, a state which, in 1860, became the Kingdom of Italy under the Savoia or Savoy family, the Italian reigning house until 1946. They once had the lordship of the Vice-Count of Geneva, vidame de Genève, in Switzerland, but their access to it was cut by the Swiss during the Protestant Reformation, after which it was conquered by Bern. Though originally a simple noble family, later heirs to a large account of feudal possessions and titles. They were diplomatically skilled, and gained control over strategic passes in the Swiss-French Alps and in Southern Italy. This caused the great powers such as France, England, and Spain to take the head of the family opinions into account. They contributed a great deal in the expansion of European culture and the Roman Catholic faith and in Europe, Jerusalem and along the conquest of the Americas.

The monarchy ended with the 1946 referendum by which Italians chose the republic as the form of state (see also birth of the Italian Republic).


  1. ^ See G. Doneddu in Alghero, la Catalogna, il Mediterraneo, Gallizzi, Sassari, 1994, page 523.
  2. ^ Official list of Sardinian nobles clicking on Statuto e Elenco Nobiliare Sardo on the left, then on one of the Elencos according to the year requested, then on the De Candia family.


  • Archivio degli Amici del Castelfiorito -
  • Reference of Candia - DE CANDIE / DE CANDIA, Document prepared by the bureau of the count Ludovico de Candia, Source: Annuaire de la noblesse de France 1861
  • Gallica : [1]
  • Ref: Chev. épée JO Two Old French Romances: Le Chevalier a l'épée and; Le Roman de Foulque de Candie p. Herbert le duc de Dammartin
  • Ref: The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni edited and translated by Elisabeth M. C. Van Houts. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995.
  • Ref: History of the Barony of Candé and the first lord of Candia in French (Histoire de la baronnie de Candé, Maine et Loire), by Odile Halbert
  • Dossier: Aïeux de la ligné de Candé et du Lion d'angers, N° notice: IA49002301(c) Inventaire général, 2001, Commune de Candé, France
  • Ref: La Société académique de Savoie a publié à Chambéry des Mémoires sur la carrière politique et militaire de Savoie, 1828.'
  • Armorial De Candiae, Savoie [3]
  • Heraldique de France - Maison de Candie [4]
  • Dynastic House of Candia, Annuairy of the French Nobility 1861 [5]
  • Francois de Candie, 1st Vice-Count of Geneva François de Candie
  • Fiefdom of Candia Laumellorum [6]
  • Candida Candida, Italy
  • Castello di Candia - Archivio degli Amici del Castelfiorito [7]
  • Chateau de Candie [8]
  • De Candia [9]
  • Los Borgia, Juan Antonio Cebrián, Temas de Hoy, 2006. ISBN 84-8460-596-5