Top historic sites in Corsica

Calvi Citadel

The Genoese Citadel is the main part of the town of Calvi, and its most important historical monument. It was a military outpost in the 15th century that helped guard the city against attacks from Franco-Turkish raiders to Anglo-Corsican armies. Inside the battlements, don’t miss the well-proportioned Caserne Sampiero, a military barracks that once served as the Genoese administration's seat of power, and the 13th-cen ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Calvi, France

Maison Bonaparte

La Maison Bonaparte is the ancestral home of the Bonaparte family. It is located on the Rue Saint-Charles in Ajaccio on the French island of Corsica. The house was almost continuously owned by members of the family from 1682 to 1923. Napoleon Bonaparte"s great-great-grandfather Giuseppe Bonaparte first moved into the Casa Buonaparte in 1682. Originally, the house was partitioned between differ however, after ...
Founded: 1682 | Location: Ajaccio, France

Ajaccio Cathedral

The present Ajaccio cathedral was built between 1577 and 1593 and is attributed to Italian architect Giacomo della Porta. It was built to replace the former Cathedral of Saint-Croix, destroyed in 1553 in order to make room for developments in the city"s defenses, as stated in the permit required by the Council of Ancients in 1559 to the Senate of Genoa and Pope Gregory XIII in order to build a new cathedral. ...
Founded: 1577-1593 | Location: Ajaccio, France

Ajaccio Citadel

Ajaccio, which is set at the top of a gulf, has been inhabited since Ancient times. From the 12th century onwards, the Genoese, wishing to establish a base of operations to support Calvi and Bonifacio in defending them against the threat from the Barbary Coast, built a fortification on the site, named Castel Lombardo. Unfit for habitation, the position was abandoned three centuries later in 1492-1493 in favour of Capo di ...
Founded: 1492 | Location: Ajaccio, France

Bastia Citadel

The Governor"s Citadel and Palace in Bastia dates back to the 14th century. The former palace of the Genoese governors houses the municipal museum, formerly the Ethnology Museum of Corsica.Abutting the old fortress tower and decorated with a 14th-century campanile, the Palace of Governors over the centuries guarded Terra Nova and beyond the ramparts of the Old Port. The city has undertaken a program of renovation o ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bastia, France

Corte Citadel

A small town in the heart of Corsica, Corte was the capital of the island (from 1755-1769 under Pasquale Paoli). Jutting out above the Tavignano and Restonica Rivers, and the cobbled alleyways of the Haute Ville, the citadel’s oldest part is the château – known as the Nid d’Aigle (Eagle’s Nest) – built in 1419. The 19th-century barracks now houses the tourist office and the Museu di a Corsica, a must-see f ...
Founded: 1419 | Location: Corte, France

Filitosa

Filitosa is a megalithic site in southern Corsica, France. The period of occupation spans from the end of the Neolithic era and the beginning of the Bronze Age, until around the Roman times in Corsica. The site was discovered in 1946 by the owner of the land, Charles-Antoine Cesari. Finds of arrow heads and pottery date earliest inhabitation to 3300 BC. Around 1500 BC, 2-3 metre menhirs were erected. They hav ...
Founded: 3300 BCE | Location: Sollacaro, France

Algajola Citadel

Algajola is an ancient Genoese fortress dating back to the 16th century. The Ottomans, who sacked Algajola in 1643, obliged the Genoese to destroy the fortress. Genoa built a new castle in 1664. Today, the Algajola Castle is one of the main tourist attractions of this town.
Founded: 1664 | Location: Algajola, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.