10 largest cities in France


Corte (Corti)


Corte is a city in France located in central Corsica. Corte is the only city in the interior of Corsica to have fortifications. It was in the eighteenth century the capital of the ephemeral Republic of Corsica led by Pasquale Paoli, the father of the Corsican homeland. As such, this is where the first university in Corsica was founded, which disappeared when France took possession of the island. In 1981, after a strong popular mobilization, a university was reopened, with 3,500 students now making up half of the city's population.

Corte is thus the cultural capital of Corsica and since 1997 houses in the citadel the Museum of Corsica, which presents an anthropological collection focused on pastoral activities practiced between 1950 and today, as well as rooms on various economic activities and cultural aspects of modern Corsica.



Court Citadel
The Citadel of Corte (nicknamed the Eagle's Nest) is an eighteenth-century citadel built around a fifteenth-century castle and 1984 "Museum of Corsica" in Corte, Haute-Corse. The citadel has been listed as a historic monument since August 10, 1977.

In 1419 the Count and Viceroy of Corsica Vincentello of Istria (vassal of King Alfonso V of Aragon) had the castle built on top of the rock that dominates the city, in Upper Corsica halfway between Bastia and Ajaccio, with a crenellated wall and three towers, to fight the Republic of Genoa for the kingdom of Aragon. Between 1421 and 1434 he ruled over Corsica and installed the seat of his government in Corte.

In the eighteenth century the General of the Nation Pascal Paoli made Corte the capital of his government for the Corsican nation. In 1769, after the defeat on 9 May of its Corsican troops at the Battle of Ponte-Novo against those of King Louis XV, Corsica came under French rule. The Count of Vaux then ordered that the fortifications of the city be increased by the construction of the present citadel, on the principle of the fortifications and constructions of Vauban (the only citadel among the six Corsican citadels to be built inland). The construction of the Padua barracks was completed in 1776.

Between 1962 and 1983 the citadel was occupied by the Foreign Legion (Foreign Legion training group).

In 1984 the site was opened to the public. It offers exceptional panoramic views of the Restonica and Tavignano valleys. The castle within the citadel houses:
The Museum of Corsica (Museum of Art and History and Regional Museum of Anthropology of Corsica).
The Regional Fund for Contemporary Art of Corsica (FRACORSE)
The Center for Scientific and Technical Culture of Corsica (CCSTI)
The tourist center of Corsica.
In April 2015, the eagle's nest was attacked by about twenty activists of the Ghjuventu Indipendentista to go on a hunger strike

Gorges of the Restonica
From Corte, in the heart of Corsica, the Restonica Gorge offers many swimming and hiking opportunities. A winding road leads to the sheepfolds of Grotelle which are the departure to the lakes of Melo and Capitello.

The Restonica is a river that originates at Lake Melo at 1711 meters above sea level on Mount Rotondo. Its course is 18 km before reaching the Tavignano in Corte. Its course is dotted with waterfalls and natural pools of clear, fresh water, in its first part, and then becomes less rugged in the rest of the valley.

Access to the gorges for vehicles is from Corte via the D623. Given the narrowness of the road, it is recommended to leave early in the morning in order to have the flow of vehicles in the same direction, ie towards the bottom of the gorges. Access to the large car park is chargeable, offering secure parking and catering. From the car park, the trail enters the mountain uphill fairly gently for half its route but quickly becomes acrobatic for those not used to hiking. Rocks and stones make wearing walking shoes practically indispensable and highly recommended. Course of about 8 km for a positive elevation gain of 600 m and 1h45 to 2 h to reach Lake Capitello (highest at 1930m).

The statue of Pasquale Paoli
Tavignanu Valley
The Arch of Padule, or Arcu di Scandulaghju, or Arche de Corte
The viewpoint from the top of the Belvedere (below the citadel)