Caracu - The Abandoned Hamlet of Meria
Village Abandoned since 1925
Part of those ghost villages in Corsica that pique the interest of visitors, the abandoned village or hamlet of Caracu consists of about twenty houses and an old Chapel (Saint Sebastian), most of which are still standing, but whose state of decay makes access dangerous. While most roofs have fallen, some walls are as precarious as the Tower of Pisa, threatening to collapse at any moment. Caution is required.
Caracu is located in the municipality of Meria on the eastern slope of Cap Corse. Its isolated location in the maquis is accessed only by a hiking trail.
The walk to the hamlet of Caracu presents no significant difficulty. The trail is well maintained, and winds through the maquis amidst arbutus trees, heather and cork oaks, offering some viewpoints over the sea and particularly the island of Capraia.
Other Abandoned Hamlets in the Region
The hamlet of Caracu is not an isolated case in this region of Cap Corse. Along with it, other hamlets made up the municipality of Meria, such as the hamlets of Pastina, Muracce, Murteta, destroyed following Barbary raids in the 17th century.
Former Miners' Village
The municipality of Meria, with barely 100 inhabitants, had ten times as many residents in the 19th century, a time when many miners were exploiting the region's antimony.
Along with the municipalities of Ersa and Luri, particularly the Castello vein, the village of Meria was known for its deposits of antimony, a toxic mineral used in alloys with arsenic to harden heavy metals such as lead. Just like asbestos on the western façade of Cap Corse, the island's antimony mines contributed to making France the world's leading producer of antimony at the end of the 19th century.
The antimony mines stimulated the region for more than sixty years, before World War I put an end to it. The halt of these mining operations caused a population decline that is now evident through these former mining villages, now reduced to ruined hamlets.