Bonifacio (Bonifaciu in Corsican), situated int the extreme south of Corsica, is the most Southern French municipality of metropolitan France; of the coast, we can perceive quite close Sardinia. Archaeological excavations, driven along the coast and in the hinterland, show that the bay was occupied from the Neolithic period (5000 in 2500 BC). Under Roman Empire, the peace favors the exchanges between the maritime cities. Shelter for merchant fleets, the port also becomes a commercial base between close Sardinia and Corsica, within the Roman province of Sardinia-Corsica. Bonifacio’s attested history raises in 1195, but the foundation of the city by Boniface II de Toscane, who gave it his name, could date in fact neighborhood of 830. Pisa is the master of the place till the end of the XIIth century, before the Genoese of seize it. Afterward, the story of the city is bound to the permanent conflicts bringing into conflict both republics, for the control of this strategic port. In 1420, king Alphonse V of Aragon besieges vainly the city* during five months before withdrawing. After a horrifying episode of plague, the city is taken and plundered in 1553 by the former Turkish pirat Dragut, of which we say that he had been financed by the Marshal of Thermal baths, who abandons it to the French people. François the First resells it in 1559 in the Republic of Genoa. The strategic site, strengthened already repeatedly, is strengthened in 1880, then during the Second World War by the Germans and the Italians, who reorganize the ” rudder of Corsica “, an underground site of artillery openingin a hole of cliff.
*of the seat of the King of Aragon remains the legend of “the staircase of the King of Aragon”. Carved by man directly into the limestone and consisting of 189 markets, this staircase would have, according to legend, was dug in only one night by the King of Aragon’s troops during the siege of 1420 Bonifacio. Most likely dug over a longer period by Franciscan monks to access a source of drinking water at the bottom of the stairs.
Where is it ?
Bonifacio, Corse du Sud, France