Mediterranean Cruise 2022 — Ajaccio Cathedral, Corsica


Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption of Ajaccio

Today I present to you yet another of the three ABCs of European travel (Another Bloody Castle, Another Bloody Church, Another Bloody Cathedral). Old joke and, yes, I’m just kidding. Both Ursula and I just love these things. Today it’s another cathedral — Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption of Ajaccio, otherwise known simply as Ajaccio Cathedral. This structure was erected between 1577 and 1593 and is credited to famed Italian architect Giacomo della Porta. While the exterior may not appear all that imposing in comparison to other cathedrals I have shown you on these consecutive Vision of the Seas voyages, just step inside. Doing so will change your mind rather quickly.

Ajaccio Cathedral, Corsica, France

Time to look up and admire that arched ceiling and dome:

Ajaccio Cathedral, Corsica, France

Let’s more along for a closer look at that altar:

Ajaccio Cathedral Altar

Napoleon Bonaparte was baptized in this cathedral in 1771. Later in life, during his exile to St. Helena, he said, “If they forbid my corpse, as they have forbidden my body, a small piece of land in which to be laid, I desire to be buried with my ancestors in Ajaccio cathedral in Corsica.” A marble plaque inscribed with that quote remains today at the entrance.

More ceiling details

You may have noticed that behind the altar is an impressive painting. Alas, I’ve been unable to find anything on it. Nevertheless, here’s a closer look:

Ajaccio Cathedral altar painting

The cathedral’s pipe organ was built in 1849 by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. It has since been restored and electrified.

Ajaccio Cathedral organ pipes

We’ll call it quits for today, and on Monday we’ll stroll by Napoleon Bonaparte’s childhood home. Before we go, here’s one last look at that incredibly ornate cathedral ceiling:

Ajaccio Cathedral ceiling

Слава Україні! (Slava Ukraini!)

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