Category Heritage

The Lazaret, and how it came back to life – François Ollandini reveals past and present coexisting

LAZARET (O du T)

And this is exactly what happened, past and present coexisting.

There’s a very moving story behind this particular setting, dating back to when the plague ravaged and changed the lives of so many indeed and Corsica was not exempt of the consequences.

We’re returning to the 14th century here, leading right up to the 19th, where cholera was also present. Walking around this space has been an overwhelming sensation for me personally, and a tremendous experience, from which I can only try to convey, hopefully immersing you in intense historical remnants, remaining forever present.

During those times, coral fishing was very popular but, the French authorities decided to forbid the continual coral fishing around the coasts, pretext being, that the seabed was overworked – thus, imposing...

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The wisdom of bridges comes from the fact that they know both sides ..

pont genoise D.Brunati

Remember, the Genoese had taken over the island, (12th/13th century) and in doing so, they of course wished a certain transformation. One of the most important was the construction of many stone arched bridges, thus, for economical reorganisation, theses bridges saw the day between the 13th and 18th centuries. Mainly single arched, and ‘hunch-backed’, and allowing a distance up to twenty meters, beyond which, the necessity for several arches was necessary. A large number have been classified as ‘historical monuments’ and their contribution in the growth of rural regions cannot be dismissed.

With a height of six meters, and ten meters in length, the Navy Negru up in the Cap Corse, would be the most imposing, double arched example...

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Valentine’s Mausoleum in Pino, admirable

Mausolée de Valentine (fille de Eiffel) à Pino (fotocommunity LichtSchattenSuc)

Valentine Piccioni (no other than the daughter of Gustave Eiffel), married a Corsican, Camille Piccioni in 1890, they had two children, Marcel and Jean. The Piccioni family, known as one of the oldest and most distinguished families in Corsica.

Now, this is her mausoleum in the town of Pino (Cap Corse), an admirable structure – I have yet to visit it, as I find it holds tremendous beauty and quite frankly, fascinates me – maybe it’s the powerful pressure of atmosphere, it appears to dominate the surroundings, bathing in history and remaining omnipresent, along with a certain settling into the natural surroundings of towering trees and dense bush – this, takes my breath away and I’m certainly looking forward to this visit over the summer months.

Photo credit: LichtSchattenSucher Copyr...

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Convent of Corbara, a haven of peace

St Jean Corbara

Solid religious representation has left its mark all over this incomparable island. The Convent of Corbara is once again a fine example of the alliance between Corsica and religion. Situated between the mountains and the sea, towards the north of the island, in the heart of the Balagne – this picturesque site ensures serenity,  harmony, prayer and hospitality. Dating back to 1430 and is the largest illustration to be found, where Pascal Paoli is said to have visited many times, often accompanied by friends. Guy de Maupassant also made a halt here, amongst others, and wrote one of his articles.

Having been registered to both the Dominicans and the Franciscans through the past, it is today occupied and run by the Brothers of St. John...

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Cargèse – otherwise known as ‘The Greek Village’

Cargèse Jean-Louis Delbende

This is not a random choice of village I choose to tell you about

I vividly remember my first visit there and how I was completely drawn to its particularity. Right in the heart of the village, on the outskirts, overlooking the floral countryside and valley, one comes face to face with two churches standing right opposite each other : Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic – in the midst of overlooking trees and in total harmony.

I recall catching my breath and just gasping. Situated 100 meters above sea level, it seemed so natural and yet so singular. Cargèse was founded at the end of the 18th century, by Greek immigrants, having been chased by the Turks – whereupon their descendants build their own church, whilst the Corsicans built theirs...

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