Tag Archives: Corsica

Fun Photo Friday — Mediterranean 2022; Corsica Favorites Part 3

Phare des Îles Sanguinaires (Lighthouse of the Sanguinaires Isles)

Today finishes up Corsica, and next week I’ll show you our stop on 18 May 2022 — Ibiza Spain. Until then, here are today’s Fun Photo Friday favorites of Ajaccio, Corsica:

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Mediterranean Cruise 2022 — Napoleon Bonaparte House; Ajaccio, Corsica

Maison Bonaparte — Bonaparte ancestral home

We’ve left behind Ajaccio Cathedral, headed north east along Rue Saint-Charles, and have arrived at Maison Bonaparte, the ancestral home of the Bonaparte family and the place of birth of Napoleon. It may not look like much, but it’s a busy destination. I had to wait out the throngs to get the shot you see above. And that marble plaque above the door? It reads in Corsican “NAPOLEON | EST NE DANS CETTE MAISON | LE XV AOVT M·DCC·LXIX,” which translates to “NAPOLEON | BORN IN THIS HOUSE | THE 15 AUGUST 1769.

“Napoleon born in this house the 15th August 1769”

Check out the fun little boutique to the left of this museum house. It’s a nifty little shop with a lot of Napoleon-related trinkets and souvernirs, and it is affiliated with the Maison Bonaparte museum.

Napoleon themed tourist store

I don’t usually recommend souvenir shops. Indeed, I can’t remember ever having done so. But I’m making an exception today. This place was not only fun, it was cheap! I picked up an engraved, locking Corsican pocketknife with wood grips and a thumb stud for what I thought was a decent price. It turned out later that it was an exceptionally fair price. The same knife was going elsewhere for anywhere from 50% to 200% more. And it even came with a belt-loop sheath. But there’s more here than just souvenirs. Casa Bounaparte itself offers up some fun photographic subjects not found on the museum next door:

Casa Buonaparte is affiliated with the Maison Bonaparte museum

Indeed, it’s worth walking by just for a snapshot of this wonderful sign:

Casa Buonaparte

From Casa Buonaparte Ursula and I started slowly back to Vision of the Seas, but along a very indirect route that would take us well north of Plaza Foch. Here we found a pedestrian street that was fun to walk — Rue Cardinal Fesch. Lots of shops, street vendors, cafés, and restaurants in this area.

An Ajaccio café scene
Walking along Rue Cardinal Fesch

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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

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