Bastia

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Bastia

Coordinates: 42°42′03″N 9°27′01″E / 42.70083°N 9.45028°E / 42.70083; 9.45028


Bastia (French and Corsican: Bastia) is a commune in the Haute-Corse department of France located in the northeast of the island of Corsica at the base of Cap Corse. It is also a city, the second largest on Corsica after Ajaccio, and the capital of the department.

Bastia is the principal port of the island and its principal commercial town, especially famous for its wines. According to the 2006 census, Bastia has 43,577 inhabitants. Approximately 10% of the population are immigrants. The unemployment rate in the commune has persistently been one of the highest in France, standing at over 20% in 2004.

Contents

History

Before the occupation of Corsica by the Genoese, Cardo was a large city. Around the city were little villages where the fishermen of Cardo lived. This little port was called Porto Cardo, meaning "the port of Cardo."

The Genoese felt the need for shelter from the sea storms and in 1380 began to construct, under Governor Leonello Lomellini, a bastiglia, Italian for stronghold or citadel. With time, the bastiglia (Bastia) became more prosperous and important than Cardo. Bastia was the capital of Corsica until 1791.

In 1794, during a war with Revolutionary France, British troops under Admiral Nelson and Lieutenant-General David Dundas briefly captured Bastia.

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