Let’s save the Institute of the Daughters of Mary together: take part in patronage!
The building that housed the Institute of the Daughters of Mary has been in ruins for many years. Built in the 19th century, it has welcomed the children of the city from its creation until recently.
For several years now, we have wanted to restore this building to all its grandeur and its rightful place. The Tourist Office of L’Ile-Rousse Balagne, the Community of Communes L’Ile-Rousse Balagne and the city of L’Ile-Rousse have thus set up a rehabilitation project with a specific objective: to make this place a space for transmission, discovery and awareness bringing together the local population and all outsiders wishing to discover the very essence of our destination L’Ile-Rousse Balagne.
The project is partially funded by the Collectivité de Corse, by the Fondation du Patrimoine and the Mission Bern. You can also become an actor in this rehabilitation by participating in the sponsorship of this project:
A little history
This building located at the eastern end of Place Paoli was built in 1849 to house the congregation “Les Filles de Marie” (a congregation that came from Agen and dedicated to the education of young girls).
She settled in L’Ile-Rousse on the proposal of Bishop Mgr Casanelli d’Istria, relaying a municipal desire. Four nuns from the Third Order, headed by a Superior, accompanied by Abbé Chevalier, landed in L’Ile-Rousse in July 1840 in order to lay the foundations for the Institute of the Daughters of Mary the Immaculate. . Thanks to the financial assistance of François Piccioni, wealthy owner and boatbuilder living in Saint Thomas in the West Indies and uncle of Sébastien Piccioni (mayor of the city from 1841 to 1848), a building was built for the sisters in 1849 in barely sixteen months.
The Institute was secularized at the end of 1906 and converted into a Free School, under the title of Joan of Arc Institution. The entire first floor is then confiscated. Thus before the Great War, Henri de Signori, rentier and industrialist, had installed a silkworm farm on this floor: a silkworm farm. The establishment was frequented by young girls until the end of the 1960s. The Joan of Arc Institution ceased all activity in December 1984. Only the catechism classes and the school remained in the main body of the building. Notre-Dame private nursery school. Everything was closed when this school moved in 2014 to the former Franciscan convent.
An interpretation center for transmission and discovery
Considering L’Ile-Rousse as one of the two tourist gateways to Balagne, the Community of Communes of L’Ile-Rousse Balagne needs to create and identify a place whose function is in particular to be the showcase of its territory.
The ambition of this project is to rehabilitate this building while taking care to preserve its general appearance; create an attractive public place, lively seven days a week and all year round, addressing both locals and visitors to the destination; make this building a showcase, a compendium of the riches of the community of municipalities and Balagne; encourage the visitor to discover the hinterland and its cultural and heritage riches.
The building will therefore house the reception of the Tourist Office of L’Ile-Rousse Balagne as well as an Interpretation Center.
The Interpretation Center is a local cultural facility aimed at raising awareness, informing and training all audiences in the architecture and heritage of the city and the territory. It is a place of information and education aimed at the inhabitants of the city and the region, but also at tourists. It makes the population aware of the challenges of the architectural, urban and landscape evolution of a territory. Finally, it is a privileged place for information and debate and the transmission of knowledge and history.