On St Helena, as he lay dying Napoleon remembered the church of his childhood: 'If they forbid my corpse, as they have forbidden my body, a small piece of land in which to be laid, I desire to be buried with my ancestors in Ajaccio cathedral in Corsica'. This quotation, “Si l'on proscrit mon cadavre, comme on a proscrit ma personne, que l'on me refuse un peu de terre, je souhaite que l'on m'inhume auprès de mes ancêtres dans la cathédrale d'Ajaccio en Corse“ engraved on a red marble plaque at the entrance to the cathedral, shows how important the place was to Napoleon during his life. Napoleon's baptism was held there on 21 July, 1771. Furthermore, the funeral chapel of the Bonaparte family was kept there until the building, under the Second Empire, of the Imperial chapel. In 1559, the Conseil des Anciens placed a demand before the Senate in Genoa and before Pope Gregory XIII that Ajaccio should be given a cathedral as a replacement for the previous Saint-Croix church built in the C15th - that church had been knocked down in 1553 to make room for developments in the city's defences. The new cathedral was completed in 1593 and dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin. The cathedral is remarkable for its modest size. The Latin cross layout shows a barely discernible shallow transept and the three internal naves seem too short as regards their height and width. However the seven side chapels, the impressive dome and the fine Baroque ochre façade give the building an indefinable charm. For your information, visits take place at the time of the services.