Theme Week Corsica – Ajaccio

Monday, 22 October 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  4 minutes

© Koudkeu/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Koudkeu/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ajaccio is a French commune, prefecture of the department of Corse-du-Sud, and head office of the Collectivité territoriale de Corse (capital city of Corsica). It is also the largest settlement on the island. Ajaccio is located on the west coast of the island of Corsica, 210 nautical miles (390 km) southeast of Marseille. The original city went into decline in the Middle Ages, but began to prosper again after the Genoese built a citadel in 1492 to the south of the earlier settlement. After the Corsican Republic was declared in 1755 the Genoese continued to hold several citadels, including Ajaccio, until the French took control of the island.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Ajacciens or Ajacciennes. The most famous of these is Napoleon Bonaparte who was born in Ajaccio in 1769, and whose ancestral home, the Maison Bonaparte, is now a museum. Other dedications to him in the city include Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport.

Ajaccio is located on the west coast of the island of Corsica. The commune occupies a sheltered position at the foot of wooded hills on the northern shore of the Gulf of Ajaccio between Gravona and the pointe de la Parata and includes the Îles Sanguinaires (Bloody Islands). The harbour lies to the east of the original citadel below a hill overlooking a peninsula which protects the harbour in the south where the Quai de la Citadelle and the Jettée de la Citadelle are. The modern city not only encloses the entire harbour but takes up the better part of the Gulf of Ajaccio and in suburban form extends for some miles up the valley of the Gravona River. The flow from that river is nearly entirely consumed as the city’s water supply. Many beaches and coves border its territory and the terrain is particularly rugged in the west where the highest point is 790 m (2,592 ft).

The center of Ajaccio © flickr.com - dmytrok/cc-by-sa-2.0 Port of Ajaccio © Ladislaus Hoffner/cc-by-sa-4.0 Lighthouse of the citadel of Ajaccio © Myrabella/cc-by-sa-3.0 Statue of Napoleon in the Place Foch © Jean-Pol GRANDMONT/cc-by-3.0 © Mussklprozz/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Koudkeu/cc-by-sa-4.0 Fishing Port © Pir6mon/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Statue of Napoleon in the Place Foch © Jean-Pol GRANDMONT/cc-by-3.0
Although the commune of Ajaccio has a large area (82.03 km²), only a small portion of this is urbanized. Therefore, the urban area of Ajaccio is located in the east of the commune on a narrow coastal strip forming a densely populated arc. The rest of the territory is natural with habitation of little importance and spread thinly. Suburbanization occurs north and east of the main urban area.

The original urban core, close to the old marshy plain of Cannes was abandoned in favour of the current city which was built near the Punta della Lechia. It has undergone various improvements, particularly under Napoleon, who originated the two current major structural arteries (the Cours Napoleon oriented north-south and the Cours Grandval oriented east-west).

Ajaccio experienced a demographic boom in the 1960s, which explains why 85% of dwellings are post-1949. This is reflected in the layout of the city which is marked by very large areas of low-rise buildings and concrete towers, especially on the heights (Jardins de l’Empereur) and in the north of the city – e.g. the waterfront, Les Cannes, and Les Salines. A dichotomy appears in the landscape between the old city and the imposing modern buildings. Ajaccio gives the image of a city built on two different levels.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on City of Ajaccio, france.fr – Ajaccio, Wikivoyage Ajaccio and Wikipedia Ajaccio (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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