The Castle of the Punta, her story and possible sentence

Chateau de la Punta Pascal

Let us wander back to 1564, when Catherine de Medici asked Philibert de l’Orme to build her a castle –  because she was tired of living at the Louvre in Paris. The ‘Tuileries Palace’ stood for three centuries to be then destroyed by a fire in May,1871 – due to an insurrection that took place and lasted for over three weeks ..

In 1882, the decision to completely erase the remaining remnants was taken and it was between 1886-89, that Count Jérôme Pozzo di Borgo and his son Charles, purchased an important quantity of these stones in view of building their castle in Alata, beside Ajaccio, within 40 hectares of park, on an altitude of 600m and with views showing the Gulf of Ajaccio and Sagone, but also the heights of the Monte d’Oro and Renoso, and the imposing Red Rock Gozzi and valleys of the Gravona and Prunelli. Can you imagine this splendid site/sight?

Each facade is different, respecting the memory of the original palace, inspired by one of the wings build by Jean Bullent, as they could not possibly reconstruct the whole palace.

Classified historical monument in 1977, but closed to the public since 1978, after a very unfortunate fire in the maquis, which resulted in the caving in of the roof. Bought over by the Conseil General in 1992 from the Pozzo di Borgo family, and where a new roof was installed in 1996.

Initiative was taken in 1999, when an important evening was organised in order to bring awareness to a certain public as to the importance and urgency of financial aid in order to try and maintain the structure.

Slow procedures, and constant lack of funds, and a complete state of deterioration has followed – a deplorable state of affairs where this historical monument that should be receiving a large public for admiration, reverie, and historical knowledge and is still bound to crumbling, if no further action is taken. I’ve been up there a few times, it’s as though you are entering another era, visualising Jérôme and Charles releasing a certain disappointment and disgust.

What amazes me here, is the fact that so many castles, palaces have burnt down and in doing so, leave remnants for imagining life as it was, as though it is in some ways their destiny, so to speak, to relate through destruction and deterioration – remembering also visiting some in Ireland too, where this disaster took over throughout history. It always saddens me though. Tragedy often seems to dwell in the background of so many historical monuments I realise, and the haunting probability lingering and bound to a certain fate, I’m inclined to believe.

Let’s hope reason will abide, and the wish to preserve these dignified, public and national vestiges will conquer, and find a way.



Photo credit: Pascal Malaterre

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