Last modified: 2003-01-18 by ivan sache
Keywords: corse-du-sud | ajaccio |
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by Ivan Sache
Ajaccio is the administrative capital of the
Corsican Region and prefecture of the
departement Corse-du-Sud, The city (59,300 inhabitants in 1994) is
located in the South-West part of the island, within one of the most
scenic gulfs of Mediterranean see. The mythic founder of the city was
the Greek heroe Ajax, but the most probable etymology for the city
name refers to the ancient Greek word agation (the good
The city became really important only in 1492, when the citadel was built. In 1553, Ajaccio welcomed the independentist Corsican troops of Sampiero, and Genoa, the ruler of the island, understanding the strategic importance of the city, built additional fortifications in 1562.
The reputation of the city is of course due to Napoléon
Bonaparte, who was born there on 15 August 1769, short after the
battle of Ponte Nuovo which achieved the French annexion of the
island. Formerly supporters of the patriot Paoli, the Bonaparte
betrayed the cause of the Corsican independence and joined the
pro-French party. The family experienced serious troubles with the
local population, and in 1794, Napoléon's mother had to leave
the island with her family in a hurry. The 'casa Bonaparte' was
looted and burned by Paoli's supporters.
In 1797 only, Mrs. Bonaparte came back to Ajaccio and arranged the familial house as it can be visited today as the Bonaparte Museum.
In 1811, Napoléon established Ajaccio as the unique administrative capital of the departement of Corsica.
The city has now only an administrative importance. Here is the siege of the Corsican Territorial Assembly (created in 1991).
Source: Encyclopaedia Universalis, CD-ROM Edition, 1998
Ivan Sache, 10 September 1999
The flag is based on the arms of the city.
Pascal Vagnat, 10 September 1999