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Prefecture de la Region Corse
Address : 4 Cours Napoléon, 20090 Ajaccio, France
Telephone :04 95 11 12 13
Corsica (Corse) was a Genoese possession from 1347 until 1755 when the independent Corsican Republic was formed. It remained sovereign until 1769 when it was conquered by France. Corsica was incorporated into France in 1770. The language of culture in Corsica was Italian until the end of the 19th century.
Corsica is one of the 27 régions of France, although it is designated as a territorial collectivity (collectivité territoriale) by law. As a territorial collectivity, it enjoys some greater powers than other French régions. Corsica is split into two departments, Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud, with its regional capital in Ajaccio, the prefecture of Corse-du-Sud. Bastia, the prefecture of Haute-Corse, is the second-largest settlement in Corsica.
Although Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, politically it is part of Metropolitan France. It is closer to Italy than to the French mainland, and its culture contains elements of both the French and Italian. The native Corsican language is recognised as a regional language by the French government.
The French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte was born in 1769 in the Corsican capital of Ajaccio. The northern town of Calvi claims to be the birthplace of the explorer Christopher Columbus.
Corsica has been inhabited since the Mesolithic era. It was occupied briefly by the Carthaginians, then colonized by the ancient Greeks and the Etruscans. Finally, under the Roman Republic it became with Sardinia a province of the Roman Empire.
When the Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century, the island was invaded by the Vandals, the Visigoths, the Saracens, and the Lombards. In 756 Pepin the Short, king of the Franks and Charlemagne's father, expelled the invaders and granted Corsica to Pope Stephen II. In 1347 the Genoese took possession of the island and governed it until 1729 except for a short occupation by forces of a Franco-Ottoman alliance in the Invasion of Corsica (1553).
The department of Corse-du-Sud was formed on 15 September 1975, when the Corsican Department was divided into Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud. The boundaries of Corse-du-Sud correspond to the former department of Liamone, which existed from 1793 to 1811.
Corse-du-Sud has 124 communes, including Ajaccio. It is the capital and largest city of the region of Corsica and the prefecture of the department of Corse-du-Sud. The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to townships or incorporated municipalities in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany.
The department is surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean Sea and on the north by the department of Haute-Corse.
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