The creation of the Ajaccio Municipal Library dates back to the dawn of the 19th century. This public library project was the idea of Lucien Bonaparte, then Minister of the Interior of the Consular Government. In 1801, he had 12,310 works shipped to Ajaccio, mostly from revolutionary confiscations. The creation of the book collection therefore preceded the construction of the library.
Built under Napoleon III, the Heritage Library was officially opened in 1868 in the north wing of the Palais Fesch, originally intended to be a gallery for the exhibition of large paintings. The extension of the Palais Fesch was followed by the architect Jean CAZENEUVE in collaboration with Jérôme MAGLIOLI.
Jérôme MAGLIOLI is responsible for the grand staircase in the entrance hall guarded by two plaster lions molded on the CANOVA sculptor's originals on the tomb of Clement XIII in St. Peter's in Rome. Its walnut furniture (shelves and table 18 meters long) was designed by the architect CAZENEUVE. The Mazarine library in Paris is said to have served as a model for the architect.
The heritage Library in Numbers:
In the lobby is the grand staircase leading to the upper floor of the Fesch Museum. Access to the heritage hall from the hall is through a glass door. The heritage hall is 30 meters long, 9 meters wide and 10 meters high. It is equipped with a consultation table and has 41 shelving bays containing part of the old collection. An upper gallery, with 16 windows (including 8 with a view of the courtyard of the Palais Fesch), also with shelves overlooks the room. Since 1986, the library has been classified as a historical monument in its entirety, including the library paneling, and the large central reading table.