Ajaccio in Corsica was the place we were two weeks ago when we docked the harbour and could spend the day on land, before cruising further on our journey. Today I want to take you with me when i show you the Cemetery of La Sémillante in Bonifacio. The cemetery is a monument in the municipality of Bonifacio (Southern Corsica, FRANCE ). It is a popular attraction when staying in the area, and when you follow my blogs you know i always visit churches and cemeteries when possible, this summer i was in Italy and made a blog about the cemeteries in Moniga del Garda.
But this time its in Ajaccio which is the capital of Corsica. It has 50,000 inhabitants and is therefore one of the largest cities on Corsica. Here is also the small airport and there is a large ferry port were we docked with the MSC Seaview. Its great sunny weather and we were planning a great day, and ended up taking a taxibus for my mum. The normal ferries depart a number of times a week to mainland France and Italy. So when you are on holiday give it a day trip try. I think its a must. Although all buildings and surroundings could use a cleanup and paint job, i liked the Corsica stop. But thats my personal note. In addition, it is the birthplace of Napoleon (in 1769). And they want you to know that too!
There is everything for sale with a picture of Napoleon on it. There even seems to be a business selling Napoleon burgers, we saw but the restaurant but kitchen was to busy so we only had a wine on the terrace.
His birthplace can still be found here on Rue St-Charles and Place Letizia. There is also a Napoleon museum ( we went there as you can see in the blog i included above ) and of course a statue of him seated on horseback. This can be found near Place Maréchal-Foch. There is also a large crown above the road.
But i wanted to see the cemetery, and all the huge mausoleums. There are everywhere and intregrated in between the houses in that special area of Bonifacio. You often see a kind of Byzantine taste in the mausoleums. According to the guide they are of merchant families. They traveled alot for their trade and took the goods that were expensive with them in the graves. The domes with tiled roofs are inspired by those of mosques, although the material is much less expensive.
The citadels, mausoleums and graves are also characteristic for Corsica and its history. The Genoese are responsible for these buildings. All major coastal cities developed around these locations. Inside the buildings were the administration and the churches. The remaining citadels can be found in Bonifacio, Bastia, Calvi, Algajola, St. Florent, Ajaccio, Corte and Porto-Vecchio. The burial chapels and mausoleums symbolize the burial architecture of the wealthy families of Northern Corsica. They used to build these types of building graves on their own land and often along small roads crisscross through town. They come in different styles, from the small classical-Roman temple to baroque, neoclassical and Byzantine architecture. And soooo many, and all with their own type of lettering.
The neoclassical style has simple lines. The pillars and stones structures are inspired by antique temples and the dome is often built according to the the Christian tradition. You often see a statue of Mary on top.
We took the bus and drove by so i didnt do in but this way we saw so many great things that this blog takes me back to that moment where i took all the pictures used in this blog. With my iPhone 10. There was a burial in progress and i didnt want to be the tourist taking pictures so we left it at a glance from the intrance to the right without taking pictures from the graves inside.
Back to the centre and the harbour, and the last impression of Corsica.
There are bars with terraces everywhere and there are a large number of shops. The city starts to live, especially at the end of the afternoon, when the Corsican leaves work. People like to drink on a terrace and play a game of boules in the shade. There are various boulevards, which again have many terraces. However, you will not find peace here. The traffic is hectic and especially during rush hour people are stuck in traffic jams, which is not silent here either. The horn is widely used. By the way, do you know that there are limited skiing opportunities here in the winter? There are 4 ski stations within 20 minutes of Ajaccio. The combination of snow and sun can therefore be made here in winter.
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