The Greek village Cargese
From 1775 on it was a Maniot village.
In 1768 as it was already mentioned the Genoans sold Corsica to France. The first French Governor of the island was Count Rene Marbeut. The Maniots stayed very fortunate since the Count was a great friend of Greeks and cared especially about the descendants of Spartans.
Count Marbeauf was very much impressed by the traditions, history and struggle of the Maniots, by their sufferings, merits, sternness and mutual aid and took them under his special protection. He helped them to build a new village on the seashore not far from Paomia.
Cargese is the only village on Corsica where houses were built according to a plan. As Marbeauf wanted to be closer to his Greek friends he built there a villa for himself.
In 1775 about a hundred families settled in Cargese and the rest Maniots lived in Aιaccio. Up until the French Revolution the Maniots lived peacefully in their villages. But after the Revolution the irregular Corsican troops made a number of attacks on the Maniots.
In 1795 the Maniots were forced to go to Aiaccio where they stayed for a year. After that when they returned to Cargese they found out that Count Marbeauf’s villa was razed to ground by local Corsicans.
The following period of the Great Napoleon’s reign was considerably peaceful. From 1814 to 1830 the local Corsicans again attacked the Maniots several times but these attacks were successfully repulsed. From 1830 on due to mixed marriages military crashes between the Greeks and local Corsicans practically stopped though naturally conflicts still existed.
In 1874 many Maniot families of Cargese moved to Sidi Merouan in Algeria (occupied by France). At first they prospered there but after the Algerian Revolution which took place some decades later the Maniots were forced to go back to Corsica and France.
Cargese sticks to its Greek origin (Cargese la Grecque!) and its progress and prosperity help to reinforce the Greek spirit of its residents!
Magazine "Adouloti Mani", Summer 1997, Article on Corsican Maniots.