Last modified: 2004-07-17 by
Keywords: corse-du-sud | ajaccio | yacht club | moor's head |
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by Ivan Sache
Ajaccio is the administrative capital of the Corsican Region and prefecture of the departement Corse-du-Sud, The city (59,300 inhabitants in 1994) is located in the South-West part of the island, within one of the most scenic gulfs of Mediterranean see. The mythic founder of the city was the Greek heroe Ajax, but the most probable etymology for the city name refers to the ancient Greek word agation (the good port.).
The city became really important only in 1492, when the citadel was built. In 1553, Ajaccio welcomed the independentist Corsican troops of Sampiero, and Genoa, the ruler of the island, understanding the strategic importance of the city, built additional fortifications in 1562.
The reputation of the city is of course due to Napoléon Bonaparte, who was born there on 15 August 1769, short after the battle of Ponte Nuovo which achieved the French annexion of the island. Formerly supporters of the patriot Paoli, the Bonaparte betrayed the cause of the Corsican independence and joined the pro-French party. The family experienced serious troubles with the local population, and in 1794, Napoléon's mother had to leave the island with her family in a hurry. The casa Bonaparte was looted and burned by Paoli's supporters.
In 1797 only, Mrs. Bonaparte came back to Ajaccio and arranged the familial house as it can be visited today as the Bonaparte Museum.
In 1811, Napoléon established Ajaccio as the unique administrative capital of the departement of Corsica.
The city has now only an administrative importance. Here is the siege of the Corsican Territorial Assembly (created in 1991).
Source: Encyclopaedia Universalis, CD-ROM Edition, 1998
Ivan Sache, 10 September 1999
the municipal flag of Ajaccio was designed using the colours of the field of the municipal coat of arms and of the main charge of the arms, azure and argent being light blue and white on the flag.
The municipal coat of arms of Ajaccio is (GASO):
D'azur à la colonne d'argent sommée d'une couronne antique du même, accostée et supportée par deux lions affrontés d'or, le tout posé sur une terrasse de sinople.
In English (Brian Timms):
Azure on a mound vert a column argent surmounted by a crown supported by two lions rampant or armed and langued gules.
These arms are derived from the coat of arms of the illustrious Colonna d'Istria family, whose name is recalled by the column. On the Colonna arms, the two lions are indeed two loyal hounds, in reference to an historical event. In 1814, during the British occupation of Corsica, Ignace-Alexandre Colonna d'Istria was public prosecutor in the court of Ajaccio. In a famous summing-up, he persuaded the court to refuse to dispense justice on king George III's behalf.
Ivan Sache, 27 December 2003
by Ivan Sache
The Société Nautique d'Ajaccio was founded in 1867. It is the oldest Corsican association.
The burgee of the SNA is a triangular flag with two blue triangles placed vertically along the hoist and a red "arrow" at the point of the flag. The white lozenge in the middle is charged with a Moor's head. The Franco-Corsican symbolism is evident.
Source: SNA website
Ivan Sache, 13 July 2002Mostbet