SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

CoEur devotional path

CoEur is a devotional and hiking route in Italy and Switzerland. Its Italian subtitle, Nel cuore dei cammini d'Europa, translates as "In the heart of Europe's paths; the path CoEUR was created in the late 1990s, when information about Saint Charles Borromeo's trips in the northern Piedmont was discovered, leading to the initiation of the Path of Saint Charles between Arona, the town where the Archbishop was born, Viverone, the town where the Via Francigena passes through the province of Biella. This track has been used as a starting point the CoEUR path, which to link all the devotional places along the Lake Maggiore up to Locarno. In its ideal prosecution, the path reaches Einsiedeln abbey connecting the Via Francigena with the Camino de Santiago in its Swiss section, named Via Jacobi; this combination of paths creates a connection between two sanctuaries consecrated to the black Madonna: Oropa and Einsiedeln. This path follows routes made by Saint Charles Borromeo during his many pilgrimages through Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta, the Sesia valley, the Biellese territory and Canavese.

Twelve stages connect Arona with the Via Francigena in Viverone, passing by three Sacri Monti and many sanctuaries of the Verbano and Biellese territories. This route starts in Arona, runs along Lake Maggiore as far as Brissago and Bellinzona, continues towards the Gotthard Pass, that connects the southern Swiss cantons with the central cantons of; this path connects Baceno with the Swiss town Ernen along ancient mule tracks. From Domodossola the way goes along the Toce river through the Antigorio valley, as far as the Arbola Pass, connecting Italy and Valais, afterwards ends up in Ernen. From Domodossola the way continues towards Verbania and the main path of CoEUR passing through Ornavasso, with its cycle paths; this historic way starts in Domodossola and goes through the Valle Vigezzo and the Centovalli as far as Locarno. The track uses trails and mule tracks of the ancient Via del Mercato, the way on which merchants from Italy and Switzerland transported goods. In the early 20th century the Centovalli railway was built in order to develop commerce and nowadays it is a major tourist attraction.

This path includes the Santuario della Madonna del Sangue in Re, destination of many pilgrimages from the neighbourhood, half way between the Ossola valley and Lake Maggiore. In the Cannobio valley there is a network of paths connecting the numerous villages in the valley associated with Charles Borromeo's visits to the Pieve of Cannobio; the area between Baceno and Croveo is connected with witchcraft trials, attested by many plaques. Filled with plaques explaining legends, popular beliefs and historic proof of the many witchcraft trials that occurred in this area in past centuries; the CoEUR path connects nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Two in Switzerland: Monte San Giorgio Three Castles of BellinzonaSeven in Italy: Five out of nine Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy: Sacro Monte di Oropa Sacro Monte di Varallo Sacro Monte di Orta Sacro Monte di Ghiffa Sacro Monte di Domodossola Two Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps: VI.1-Emissario by the Viverone Lake Mercurago by Arona Along the way there are many nature parks and natural reserves.

National park of the Locarnese territory - Waiting for law approval Forest reserve of Palagnedra Forest reserve of the Sacred wood of Mergugno Bolle di Magadino Natural Reserve Val Grande National Park Alpe Veglia and Alpe Devero Natural Park Alta Valle Antrona Natural Park Fondo Toce Natural Reserve Lagoni di Mercurago Natural Park Monte Fenera Natural Park Parco Burcina Natural Reserve Bessa Natural Reserve Sacro Monte di Varallo Natural Reserve Sacro Monte di Orta Natural Reserve Sacro Monte di Oropa Natural Reserve Protected area of the Oasi Zegna SCI of the Valsessera Camino de Santiago Via Francigena UNESCO official site

Siege of Acre (1799)

The Siege of Acre of 1799 was an unsuccessful French siege of the Ottoman city of Acre and was the turning point of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt and Syria, along with the Battle of the Nile. It was Napoleon's first decisive defeat in his career as three years he had been tactically defeated at the Second Battle of Bassano; as a result of the failed siege, Napoleon Bonaparte retreated two months and withdrew to Egypt. Acre was a site of significant strategic importance due to its commanding position on the route between Egypt and Syria. Bonaparte wanted to capture it following his invasion of Egypt, he hoped to incite a Syrian rebellion against the Ottomans and threaten British India. After the Siege of Jaffa, followed by two days and nights of massacre and rape by the French forces, the defenders of the citadel were more determined to resist the French; the French attempted to lay siege on 20 March using only their infantry. Napoleon believed the city would capitulate to him. In correspondence with one of his subordinate officers he voiced his conviction that a mere two weeks would be necessary to capture the linchpin of his conquest of the Holy Land before marching on to Jerusalem.

However, the troops of the capable Jezzar Pasha, refusing to surrender, withstood the siege for one and a half months. Haim Farhi, al-Jazzar's Jewish adviser and right-hand man, played a key role in the city's defence, directly supervising the battle against the siege. After Napoleon's earlier conquest of Jaffa, rampaging French troops had savagely sacked the conquered city, thousands of Albanian prisoners of war were massacred on the sea-shore, prior to the French offensive further northwards; these facts were well known to the townspeople and defending troops in Acre, the prospect of being massacred is to have stiffened their resistance. A Royal Navy flotilla under Commodore Sidney Smith helped to reinforce the Ottoman defences and supplied the city with additional cannon manned by sailors and marines. Smith used his command of the sea to capture the French siege artillery being sent by a flotilla of gunboats from Egypt and to bombard the coastal road from Jaffa. An artillery expert from the fleet, Antoine Le Picard de Phélippeaux redeployed against Napoleon's forces the artillery pieces which the British had intercepted.

Smith anchored the British ships Tigre and Theseus so their broadsides could assist the Ottoman defence. British gunboats, which were of shallower draft, could come in closer, together they helped repel repeated French assaults. On 16 April a Ottoman relief force was fought off at the Mount Tabor. By early May, replacement French siege artillery had arrived overland and a breach was forced in the defences. At the culmination of the assault, the besieging forces managed to make a breach in the walls. However, after suffering many casualties to open this entry-point, Napoleon's soldiers found, on trying to penetrate the city, that Farhi and de Phélippeaux had, in the meantime, built a second wall, several feet deeper within the city where al-Jazzar's garden was. Discovery of this new construction convinced Napoleon and his men that the probability of them taking the city was minimal. Moreover, after the assault was again repelled, Ottoman reinforcements from Rhodes were able to land. Having underestimated the stubborn attitude of the defending forces combined with a British blockade of French supply harbours and harsh weather conditions, Napoleon's forces were left hungry and damp.

Plague had struck the French camp as a result of the desperate condition of the men, had by now led to the deaths of about 2,000 soldiers. Throughout the siege, both Napoleon and Jezzar sought in vain the assistance of the Shihab leader, Bashir—ruler of much of present-day Lebanon. Bashir remained neutral; as things turned out, it was the French which suffered most from the attitude of Bashir, whose intervention on their side might have turned the balance of power in their favour. The siege was raised. Napoleon Bonaparte retreated two months on 21 May after a failed final assault on 10 May, withdrew to Egypt. In 1805, Napoleon asserted that if he had: been able to take Acre, I would have put on a turban, I would have made my soldiers wear big Turkish trousers, I would have exposed them to battle only in case of extreme necessity. I would have made them into a Sacred Battalion--my Immortals. I would have finished the war against the Turks with Arabic and Armenian troops. Instead of a battle in Moravia, I would have won a Battle of Issus, I would have made myself emperor of the East, I would have returned to Paris by way of Constantinople.

The allusions from Classical Antiquity included in the speech are to the Sacred Band of Thebes and the Persian Immortals—elite units of the city state of Thebes and the Achaemenid Kings of Persia. Some hold that a statement attributed to Napoleon during the war, according to which he promised to return the land to the Jews if he were to succeed in his conquest of Palestine, was meant to capture Farhi’s, a Syrian Jew and betray his master by switching his support to the French. Whether this is true or not, Farhi defended the city with the rest of the Ottoman forces. However, Napoleon never showed any particular interest in winning over the Jews during his campaign, though the account of Las Cases in "Mémorial de Sainte Hélène" about Napoleon's military campaign records that a rumour among Syrian Jews had it that after Napoleon took Acre, he would go to Jerusalem and restore Solomon's