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Old July 12th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #1
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St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox church of Cargèse

The following information comes from various sites but mainly from wikipedia and the very interesting blog of Dean Christakos.Visit also www.cargese.net

Cargèse - Corsica

Cargèse (Corsican: Carghjese) is a village and commune in the Corse-du-Sud département of France, on the island of Corsica.

Some historical facts :

Pre-neolithic humans inhabited this region since 7000 - 6000 B.C., followed by the Iberians, then the people of Liguria and then the Phoenicians. The origins of Greeks in the region goes back to 565 BC when the Phocaean founded the city of Aleria. They in turn were followed by the Greeks of Syracuse. Taking much advantage of the richness and diversity of this international metropolis, they created the first commercial syndicate in Corsica. This migration was followed by the Romans, the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Franks, the Moors and the Genoese.

Unless he is also sensible to the singularities of history, the traveller in the island of
beauty will not be able to appreciate perfectly his visit of Cargèse if he is just sensible
to the beauty of a landscape and to the charm of a seaside village.

When landing at Ajaccio, he reaches Cargèse by a sinuous road, going up through
the San Sebastiano Pass, skirting the gulf of Sagone, going up again, the finally and
surprisingly enterring the village after a last curve.

Suddenly, a surprising sight : two almost twin churches, facing each other and
dominating further below a little haven set a jewel case between God, Death and Sea
are the result of cargèse's Greek immigrant's noble and tragic history.

Built in 1774, burnt in 1789, rebuilt in 1809, attacked in 1814 and 1830, then shaken
anew by mor recent events, the village witnesses that the best and the worst are
always tightly bound together and present on Mediterranean shores, shores that are
so rich in their diversity of races and religions prodigal of noble alliances and bloody

Actually, Cargèse owes its existence to the first Greek immigration of 1676. These
Greeks were Mainotes from the peninsula of Horee in the Peloponnese. They Had
been crushed by the Turks after a now legendary resistance. Their talks with th
Republic of Genes date back to 1663 at that time Corsica was a kind of protectorate.
The small Greek colony landed in Genes on January the first, 1676 and according to
the very precise.
Claude Bonéfant

Corsican Maniots
Corsican Maniots are descendants of Maniots (Mani is a region in south Peloponnese , Greece) , who migrated to the Corsican region during the 400 year Ottoman rule over Greece. To this day the Cargèse region of Corsica is referred to as Cargèse la Grecque (Cargèse, the Greek).

[1] The origins of the Greek Maniots community in Corsica dates back to the 17th century, when Greece was then under Ottoman Turk rule and there was a flow of Greek exitance from the Byzantine Empire towards countries in Western Europe. Particularly severe was Turkish rule towards the Maniots, some of the most resilient mountain clans throughout the Ottoman Empire, in the region of the Mani area, Laconia, south-east of Peloponnese, near the ancient city of Sparta. Adding to the tensions in the Mani region was long vendettas between some of the more powerful Maniots families which included; the Stefanopoulos family (descentants of Comnene Dynasty from the Empire of Trebizond, kin to the Kalomeros).[2][3]), the Mavromichalis, the Mourtzinos (claim descent from the Palaeologus Dynasty) and the Yatrianon, also know as Yatrians (the Medici Family is descentant from them). Hundreds of Greeks decided to emigrate and in 1663 his Grace Parthenios Calcandis, the Greek Catholic Bishop of Vitylo, negotiated with the Republic of Genoa, then ruling Corsica, for asylum. The Genoan administration promised to grant the Greeks the territory of Paomia for a small fee to Genoa and to recognize the religious authority of the Pope. On June 25, 1665 the Genoa government granted the request of the Greeks but it took another ten years for the migration to take place. The Greek names of the emigrants were Italianized before they left for Corsica: for instance, Papadakis was changed to Papadacci. In five years the colonists built a village, Paomia where they were engaged in agriculture and weavery. Within one year, the Greeks built the five hamlets of Pancone, Corone, Rondolini, Salici and Monte Rosso, transformed the area in one of the wealthiest agricultural lands in Corsica and lived in peace with their Corsican neighbours. When the Maniots refused to help the Corsicans in a local uprising against the Genoa clashes between the two began, they were forced to leave their village and move to another one, to Aiaccio. After Corsica was sold to France, the Maniots returned to their original area and George Stephanopoli, nicknamed Capitan Giorgio, who was a maternal relative of Laure Junot, duchess d'Abrantès,[4] accepted on behalf of the Maniots, France's offer to settle in the new village of Cargese, where they have lived since then alongside their Corsican neighbors.
Saint Spyridon ( Άγιος Σπυρίδωνας ) Greek Orthodox Church of Cargèse

Η εικόνα του Αγίου

The construction of a large Maniot church of St.Spiridonas was launched in 1852 in Cargese. The church was finished in 20 years and was sanctified in 1872.
Four icons were brought from Greece on 1676:

1 - The Byzantine icon of the Virgin with the Child Jesus in her arms. below are Saint Spyridon and Saint Nicholas : the icon is believed to date back to the 12th or 13th century. With great solemnity it is paraded round town in processions.

2 - The Three Elders of the Eastern Church: Saint Basil, Saint Gregory of Nazianzus and Saint John Chrysostom

3 - Saint John the Baptist with the wings of on angel.

4 - The Epitaphios. a painting on cut-out wood, double-sided, representing the Entombment of Christ ; it shows the Virgin Mary, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathia.

"Τας δε αρετάς λαμβάνομεν ενεργήσαντες πρότερον , ώσπερ και επί των άλλων τεχνών"
ΑΡΙΣΤΟΤΕΛΗΣ Ηθ. Νικ. 1103 α 20-35

Last edited by Skaros; July 12th, 2006 at 05:40 PM.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 04:54 PM   #2
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Great info Skaros. I heard about the Manioti of Corsica from a documentary I saw in Greece years ago. The interior of the church is nice, sort of a combination of Byzantine naivity with the colours you'd find in French churches.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #3
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Very interesting! Thanks Skaros. The stories the paintings are telling are incredible....
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Old July 12th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #4
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You are right guys the wallpaintings are beautiful and some of them actually depict the history of the village and the greek community.
Corsica is a very beautiful island and so is the village of Cargese...

here 2 more pics from Cargese :

the two churches , the Latin in front and the Orthodox in the background

Rue de Grece...

Nearby beach with crystal blue sea...

The marina of Cargese

Plaque commemorating the fraternal union between the cities of Itylos, Laconia, Greece and Cargese, Corsica, France.

"Τας δε αρετάς λαμβάνομεν ενεργήσαντες πρότερον , ώσπερ και επί των άλλων τεχνών"
ΑΡΙΣΤΟΤΕΛΗΣ Ηθ. Νικ. 1103 α 20-35

Last edited by Skaros; July 12th, 2006 at 05:47 PM.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 11:42 PM   #5
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Ωραίο βιντεάκι για το χωριό


Και μια ενδιαφέρουσα μελέτη δημοσιεύτηκε στο περιοδικό "Journal of Modern Greek Studies - Volume 24, Number 1, May 2006, pp. 91-133" με τον τίτλο "Negotiating a Greco-Corsican Identity"

The Greek settlement in Corsica, dating from 1676, is remarkable among the colonies of its time for its very slow assimilation—a process that did not become irreversible until two centuries later, with some sense of Greek identity persisting to this day. However, while past commentators have interpreted this as indicating undying loyalty to Greece, the Greco-Corsican construction of identity has been rather more precarious. To establish how and to what extent a distinct Greco-Corsican identity was maintained, the particular historical circumstances of the colony are considered, along with its recorded attitude towards its Corsican neighbors, the continuity of its folk culture with its Greek antecedents, the conditions giving rise to its creedal identity, and the contrasting outcomes in assimilation of transplanted Greco-Corsican colonies. With this information, an account of the delay in assimilation is given in terms of Social Identity Theory, and the particular role the colonists' creed played in the formulation of their distinct identity.
"Τας δε αρετάς λαμβάνομεν ενεργήσαντες πρότερον , ώσπερ και επί των άλλων τεχνών"
ΑΡΙΣΤΟΤΕΛΗΣ Ηθ. Νικ. 1103 α 20-35
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 02:07 AM   #6
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« Love all , trust a few , do wrong to none » William Shakespeare.

Last edited by Dido.; December 30th, 2013 at 08:39 PM.
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