Discovering Napoleon in Ajaccio
Ian Wrights beneath the mighty shadow of the Emperor
Where: Ajaccio, Corsica, near France
When: 18 – 19th century
What happened: Napoleon’s home and chill out spot post great historic battles
Things to see: Statues, museums, and a visit round his old pad
Don’t Miss: Locals who dress up and think they are Napoleon reincarnated
Ajaccio is situated on the beautiful French island of Corsica. The greeks were the first to discover the beautiful island of Ajaccio, naming it “kalliste” meaning ‘the beautiful’. With a population of 60,000 it was named in 1801 as “the prettiest town of the Mediterranean”. The great war general, Napoleon Boneparte was born in the little town which is steeped in Napoleonic history and memorabilia. You can hardly escape him – every restaurant and cafe is either called ‘Napoleon’ or ‘Emperor’. There’s even people who dress up like him and go around the town acting his life out. Napoleon is more popular in France than in Corsica, many Corsicans seek total independence from France.
Napoleonic Places to Visit
– You can visit Bonaparte House which was first inhabited by the famile Bonapate in the end of the 15th century. Napoleon Bonaparte was born here in 1769 and it is now a beautifully preserved museum with genuine 18th century memorabilia, portraits, weapons and documents. He used to come to the family stead to relax after his battles.
– In the town the Place des Palmiers is the site for a statue of Napoleon surrounded by four lions.
– Near Place des Palmiers is a huge bronze statue of Napoleon on horseback with his four brothers and sisters.
– Another statue in Place d-Austerlitz is a replica of the same statue outside the palace de Invalides in Paris, of Napoleon above a plaque listing his great victories and achievements like the creation of the Bank of France and the French legal system as well as the names of all the battles he’s been involved with, except his downfall in Waterloo.
– Ajaccio Cathedral was where the little Napoleon was batized.
Other Things to do in Ajaccio
Try your hand at wine tasting in the vineyards of Comte Peraldi.
Rue Saint Charles
Phone: 04 95 21 43 89
Open year round except Monday morning.
Admission: Approx: $4 adults, $3 18 – 25 years olds and free to under 18’s.