Corsica: the Greek Church in Cargèse, a Symbol of Tradition
The village of Cargèse is located on a bluff at the northernmost tip of the Gulf of Sagone, on the western façade in southern Corsica. It is dominated by the sounds of bells and its two remarkable Eastern and Latin churches, separated only by a vegetable garden.
The Greek Colony of Corsica
In the 17th century, approximately 600 Greeks fleeing the tyranny of the Ottoman empire disembarked near Cargèse with the permission of the République de Gênes, who ruled the Isle of Beauty at the time. Their arrival would trigger tension between Corsican mountain villages, thus forcing the new residents to withdraw to Ajaccio. The Greek colony would eventually return to Cargèse some forty years later, at the installation of French rule in Corsica.
The Église Saint-Spiridon, classified as a Monument Historique, is an Eastern Orthodox Church dedicated to the Cypriot bishop of the same name, known as the patron saint of sailors.
The church moved into its current location in the middle of the 19th century from a chapel located within a house in the Greek colony.
With its semi-Gothic style and flying buttresses, the church is home to 13th and 16th century centuries that the colonies brought with them across the sea. Frescoes dating back to the end of the 20th century decorate the walls.
An iconostase, or a wooden partition, dividing the nave from the sanctuary is decorated with images of saints.
Two lateral chappels dedicated to the "Panaghia" (or "Toute-Sainte," the patron of Congregationists of the Virgin Saint) and to Saint Spiridon.
Must-See Sites in Cargèse
- L’éÉglise de l’Assomption (a Latin church), across from l'Église Grecque;
- The three Genoise towers, which offer an amazing view of the Sagone Gulf;
- 5 beaches around the village, includng Chiuni, 7 km away, home to the "Club Méditerranée" mini-village.