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The Imperial Chapel of Palais Fesch in Ajaccio

Ajaccio, Imperial Chapel in an early twentieth–century photo
Ajaccio, Imperial Chapel in an early twentieth–century photo

To the right of Palazzo Fesch, one finds the imperial chapel that was consecrated in 1860 and commissioned by emperor Napoleon III, who did so in respect of the provisions in the will of his great uncle, Cardinal Fesch. The cardinal had in fact established that he wanted a consecrated place to be built for the remains of all of the members of the Bonaparte family, but his nephew Joseph, his executor, had not initiated the undertaking
The project was awarded to architect Alexis Paccard who built the edifice between 1857 and 1859 for a total cost of 175,000 Francs. The church follows a Latin cross plan with three naves and a dome at the crossing of the wings. The chapel is Neo–Renaissance in style, with the interior entirely faced in white marble and monochrome decorations by the painter Jérôme Maglioli. On the pediment of the façade, a Latin inscription recalls the Cardinal Fesch, his sister Maria–Letizia, mother of Napoleon I, and Napoleon III, who carried out the project. The F of Fesch, united with his ecclesiastical attributes and the imperial insignia, can be seen on the windows.
The octagonal crypt, faced in white marble, contains the remains of the cardinal, of his sister Letizia and her husband, Carlo Maria, father of Napoleon I. Also present are the tombs of Zenaïde Bonaparte (died 1862), princess Marianne Bonaparte (1891), prince Napoleone Carlo Bonaparte (1899), prince Victor Napoleone (1926), the princesses Eugénie Bonaparte (1949) and Clémentine of Belgium (1955), and prince Louis–Napoléon (1997).

Imperial Chapel
Rue Cardinal Fesch, 50–52

The chapel is open according to the following schedule
1 April to 30 June and 1 to 30 September: Monday 1 PM to 5:15 PM; Tuesday through Sunday 9:15 AM to 12:15 PM and 2:15 PM to 5:15 PM
1 July to 30 August: Monday 10:30 AM to 6 PM; Tuesday through Friday 9 AM to 6:30 PM; Saturday and Sunday 10:30 AM to 6 PM; Friday, open evenings 9 PM to 12 AM
1 October to 30 March: Tuesday through Friday 9:15 AM to 12:15 PM; closed Sunday and Monday

Admission ticket: full 1.50 euros; reduced (the elderly, students, children under 16 years of age, groups of more than 10 people, those accompanying a holder of the Carta Fedeltà del Musée Fesch, holders of the Ajaccio Culture card) 0.75 euros
Free admission for those less than 15 years of age, holders of the Carta Fedeltà del Musée Fesch, journalists, guides, members of ICOM, holders of a French Culture Ministry card, those accompanying the handicapped, people disabled in war, holders of the ANPE card and holders of the Service National card