Maison Bonaparte

Ajaccio, France

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 Giuseppe married Maria Colonna di Bozzi, who owned a portion of the house, he purchased the remaining sections. The house was later expanded and re-decorated by Carlo Buonaparte after his marriage to Maria Letizia Ramolino. With the exception of Joseph Bonaparte, all of their children were born in the Casa Buonaparte.

Eight years after Carlo Bonaparte's death in 1785, the family came into conflict with the increasingly reactionary nationalist leader, Pasquale Paoli and was forced to flee to the French mainland. Paoli's followers looted and burned much of the Casa Buonaparte. After the arrival of Admiral Samuel Hood, British officers were also billeted there. According to legend, Hudson Lowe lived there briefly; however, it is unknown if this is true.

After the withdrawal of British troops from Corsica in 1797, the Bonaparte family returned to the Casa Buonaparte and began repairing and remodeling it with funds provided by the Directory.

When the Bonaparte family left Corsica again in 1799, they left the house in the care of Napoleon's wet nurse, Camilla Ilari. Napoleon later bequeathed the house to his mother's cousin, André Ramolino, who gave his own house to Camilla in exchange. Later, first Maria and then Joseph took possession of the house. In 1852, Joseph's daughter Zénaïde gave the Casa Buonaparte to Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie. Eugénie refurbished and expanded the house in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Napoleon's birth. She later passed the house to Prince Victor Napoleon who donated the house to the French government. In 1967, the house was made into a museum and declared a national museum.

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Founded: 1682
Category: Museums in France

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User Reviews

Martyn Harrison (2 years ago)
Very interesting. Check have time to complete visit properly.
leonard kokeri (2 years ago)
Nice place to visit in Ajaccio. A lot of stories happened in this old testament
Gennadii Zaichykov (2 years ago)
interesting historical place, I learned a lot of new facts about Napoleone when I visited the house where he was born
suneth karunathilakarathne (2 years ago)
The house in which the child Bonaparte grew up in. It gives you a true sense about French culture of that era he lived in and there's a lot of information about his family tree and their whereabouts. Worth a visit if you happen to be in ajaccio.
Steven Swanson (2 years ago)
A great way to spend a couple of hours and learn some history. There are audio guides in English, which are essential because all of the displays and written information are in French, But you are in France after all... One of the few places that you can really get a glimpse inside such a well preserved local home.
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