Among the many places emblematic of Corsica’s rich heritage, there are few that have the scale of the Governors’ Palace. This impressive 15th-16th century fortress nestled in the heart of the old town is today the Museum of Bastia.
Once past the monumental Louis XVI gate of the Citadel, the walker is transported to another era. In the Piazza di a Corte, the narrow cobbled streets of Terra Nova invite you to stroll, but your eyes are immediately drawn to the drawbridge in the shadow of the Torrione. If he comes closer, he will guess behind the heavy stone walls of the Governors’ Palace the glass and steel entrance of the Bastia Museum.
The former residence of the Ligurian dignitaries, a high place in the history of Corsica, was the multi-century seat of political power in the Superba. After the French annexation in 1768, the Palazzo suffered the assaults of time, in turn the seat of institutions or a simple barracks, it was occupied by the German Army during the Second World War and partially destroyed before being abandoned by the enemy.
Since its reopening in 2010, the historical vocation of the Museum of Bastia has been affirmed. While the seven centuries of the city’s history are given pride of place, the museum’s permanent exhibition illustrates the institution’s desire to build a strong museography of Corsica’s historical wealth as a whole. Fine arts rub shoulders with archaeological artefacts, polychrome wood from sailors’ chests and religious statues. Part of the famous collection of Cardinal Fesch offers to discover jewels of the Italian schools of the modern period.
Every year, the Bastia Museum works in collaboration with institutions from all over the world to offer visitors a temporary exhibition on rich and original themes that push back the geographical limits of the Island of Beauty and testify to its openness to the world.
Visitors will be able to end their cultural walk with a stop in the Museum’s hanging gardens, a veritable green setting on the edge of the ramparts. There, an unobstructed view of the Old Port of Bastia and the Tuscan archipelagos awaits them, true to the reputation of a city of Bastia between sea and mountains.