A Delacroix is hiding there...

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

  • Historic centre

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption is located in the old town. Its ochre façade, imposing dome and richly decorated chapels in the Baroque style give it an irresistible charm.

10 min 

On foot from the Tourist Office

20 min



Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the cathedral, typical of Counter-Reformation architecture, forms a Latin cross.

The cathedral is remarkable for its beautiful high altar. It was donated in 1811 by Princess Elisa, Napoleon's sister, Grand Duchess of Lucca and Piombino, who took it from the Church of the Trepassed in Lucca.

The side chapels 

There are three of them, each dedicated to a Marian cult:

  • Our Lady of the Pianto, founded by the Cuneo d'Ornano family. Dating from the 17th century, it is the oldest of the cathedral. It is also the most richly decorated with exuberant stucco, marble and frescoes. The Virgin with the Sacred Heart, above the altar, is a work by Delacroix (1822).
  • Our Lady of Mercy, patron saint of the town. Paintings recall the circumstances of the town's ancient devotion. Its rich decoration solemnly affirms the loyalty of the inhabitants to the vows made by their ancestors.
  • Notre-Dame du Rosaire. This chapel housed the tomb of the Bonaparte family until the construction of the Imperial Chapel.
The Baptistery

Napoleon was baptised in this white marble baptistery.

The organs

The interest of these organs lies in their case (supported by grey marble columns from Corte).

The treasure

The cathedral's treasure contains several precious objects that tell part of the history of Corsica and the city.

A pink marble plaque, placed on the first pillar on the left-hand side, recalls the last wishes of the dying emperor.

If my corpse is proscribed from Paris as my person was, I wish to be buried next to my ancestors in the cathedral of Ajaccio, in Corsica.


Discover the history of the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption cathedral with our guide Pierre-André during the Ajaccio Imperial Citytour !