Corte is a beautiful old town in the middle of the island of Corsica (France), built at confluence of the Restonica and Tavignana rivers, and enhanced by the mountain scenery that surrounds it.
Corte was once the capital of Corsica, and the city does still hold quite a grandiose air about it. In recent years Corte was in decline, but since the reopening of the city’s university in the ’80s it has gained hundreds of foreign students (lured in by its growing academic reputation) in a total population of less than 7,000, and helps ensure the town is lively for most of the year, with a cosmopolitan air, cafés and bars.
The most interesting monument in Corte is, of course, the fortress called The Citadel, built in 1419, with the Museum of Corsica.
Corte has two main squares. Place Gaffory, dedicated to protecteur de la Nation corse Jean-Pierre Gaffory, with the walls of nearby houses pock-marked with bullet holes, reputedly from Corsica’s war of independence, and Place Paoli, with the statue of Pascal Paoli, that is generally considered the founder of modern Corsica, having introduced democracy to the nation in the 18th century.
Corte was also the birthplace of Joseph Bonaparte, the eldest brother of the French Emperor Napoleon I, who made him King of Naples and Spain.
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