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Ajaccio is located on the west coast of the island of Corsica, 210 nautical miles (390 km) southeast of Marseille. The commune occupies a sheltered position at the foot of wooded hills on the northern shore of the Gulf of Ajaccio between Gravona and the pointe de la Parata and includes some islands: L'Île du Large (the largest), Île Verte, Rocca Serra, La Mitrailleuse, and several others. The harbour lies to the east off "Rue de la Marine". It was defended by two forts : Fort "du Nord" or Saint-Nicolas Tower which has a height 36 meters above sea level; it had six cannons with a range from 4 to 12 kilometers . To its south lay Fort Saint Louis (Fort St.