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Nonza is a French commune, located in the departmental district of Haute-Corse and the territory of the community of Corsica. It belongs to the former parish of Nonza, of which it was the capital, in Cap Corse.
Places and monuments
Pauline Tour (Pauline Tower)
The Monte, the top of the cliff overlooking the sea, represents a strategic position and was therefore chosen by the Avogari lords to build their castle there in the 11th century. This medieval fortress was destroyed by the Genoese in 1489. In 1760, Pascal Paoli ordered the construction of a watchtower at the top of the Monte, to monitor the Gulf of Saint-Florent. This square gray-green shale tower is located on the site of the old castle, at an altitude of 167 m. It is built on the model of the Genoese towers: three floors, a guardiola, a crenellated terrace with three eaves. Owned by the Community of Corsica, the tower was inscribed on the Historical Monuments on July 5, 1926.
Ruins of the Sassa
La Sassa was the last residence of the local lords where the family of the Avogari de Gentile lived between 1523 and 1624. Vincentellu II was the last ruler of the region. The castle, built in the eleventh century by its ancestors, had been destroyed in the fifteenth century by Genoa. The building has since been ruined.
Weather in Fontaine Santa Ghjulia
At the martyrdom of St. Julie, legend has it that her severed breasts were thrown against a rock, from which a miraculous spring would have sprung. This spring, sometimes called the udder fountain, is located under the road at the northern entrance to Nonza. It is accessed by a staircase of 54 steps. The waters of the St. Julie Fountain are supposed to be miraculous and are the purpose of a pilgrimage. Near the fountain is the chapel of Santa Ghjulia.
A monumental staircase of 150 steps descends from the chapel to the navy. This old port, now ruined, had a few warehouses (magazinini) and seven gondolas in the eighteenth century.
Church of Santa Giulia
The Church of Saint Julie is located in the center of the village, Piazza district. Of classical architecture, this ancient piévane was built in the fourteenth century to replace a nineteenth-century building erected on the foundations of a fourth-century sanctuary ruined in 734 by the Saracens. In 303 Saint Julie was the patron saint of Corsica and Livorno.
After the Council of Trent, around 1575, the church of Santa Ghjulia was rebuilt in the classical style, on a pre-Roman sanctuary. It contains a polychrome marble altar dating from 1694 from St. Francis Convent, a 16th-century canvas depicting St. Julie crucified, as well as ancient statues. The church was transformed almost entirely in 1854 and 1872, and in 1893 a bell tower was attached to it at the top of the ogival.
Today, the walls of this parish church are painted a pink brush, it is covered with teghjie (slate), and has a tripartite façade described as follows: two yellow pilasters emphasize it and support an entablature surmounted by a fronton. Owned by the municipality, the church of Santa Ghjulia is registered in the Historical Monuments by order of December 6, 1984.
Convent of St. Francis of Nonza
A few years after the founding of the convent of Bonifacio by St. Francis of Assisi, Father Parenti, his successor, founded the convent of Nonza in 1236. This convent of the Franciscan order belonged to the minor observance of Corsica. Leonor Fini fell in love with the place in 1956, moved there and then returned to paint there every summer.
The remains of the convent being restored (rescue work) are located by the sea, under the hamlet of Capezzolu, about a kilometer south of the village of Nonza and facing the Gulf of Saint-Florent.
To the south of the convent is the mouth of the Conventu stream (fiume di Conventu).
Other religious heritages
Chapel of the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross, located near the south of the parish church;
Chapel of Santa Maria Natività called Notre-Dame-de-Lavasina, in the Borguvecchju district;
Rural chapel Santa Maria, 1700 m east of the village in the valley of Bolanu, near the ruins of the hamlet of Cavicchioni.