All photos (8)Chateau d'If
Chateau d'If
Chateau d'If

Chateau d'If

9.516 reviews
Sights and Museums, Historic Site, Landmark
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  • 9.8
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  • 7.7
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  • 7.3
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  • 6.8
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Embarcadère Frioul If, 1 Quai de la Fraternité, 13001 Marseille, France
+33 4 91 59 02 30
http://if.monuments-nationaux.fr/
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Description
Set sail for the island of If and explore one of the best-known penal settings in popular fiction. Located off the southeastern coast of France in the Bay of Marseille, If is home to the Chateau d’If. ... Read more
The chateau was completed in 1531 and originally used as a defense against naval attacks, though it was never tested. The Chateau d’If was later converted into a prison made famous by Alexandre Dumas in his 1844 novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo." In it, Dumas’ main character escapes from the chateau though in reality no one is known to have ever escaped! The chateau opened to the public in 1890 and is now a popular destination for those willing to make the 20-minute voyage from Marseille.

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Liverpool, UK

Jump on a boat from the Vieux-Port to this former fortress and jail about a mile off the coast of Marseille. Entrance is around 5 euros and you can easily spend a few hours at this landmark, made famous by Alexandre Dumas in his novel The Count of Monte Cristo. Beautiful views of the city from here give you another reason to check it out.

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Bedford, New Hampshire, USA

The Chateau d'If is more famous for its fictional than its actual history, but this fort turned prison is very real! The visit does a nice job of incorporating the Chateau's true history with the role it played in the novel. You can easily reach the island of If by ferry from the Vieux Port.

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Bedford

Any fan of the Count of Monte Cristo must visit Chateau d'If. Only a shory ferry ride from the port of Marseilles, this island prison is a great place to check out

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Tarzana

Take a 10 euro ferri ride from old port to see this interesting historic island

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Brisbane, Australia

This famous castle and former prison was made famous in large part to Alexander Dumas's Novel the Count of Monte Cristo. It is on a small island a short boat ride away from the Old Port in Marseille. It is very reminiscent of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. It is a lovely boat ride to the fort, and for fans of Dumas it is definitely worth visiting.

Recommended for:History Buffs
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Nizwa, Oman

Chateau d'If was the real life inspiration for Alexander Dumas's 'Count of Monte Cristo' and it still stands today just twenty minutes by boat from the Vieux Port of Marseille. Chateau d'If is the French version of Alcatraz and you should go for all the same reasons: 1) Morbid curiosity (I mean who doesn't want to see where the man in the Iron Mask lived for 14 years?) 2)It's historical and beautiful and 3) 'cause unlike Alcatraz you can go swimming here in the warm waters of the Med after you get all hot and sweaty up in the man in the iron mask's business. Way cool.

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Longmont, Colorado, USA

If you've read any French literature at all, you've probably read the Count of Monte Cristo or at least seen one of the many inadequate film versions. The novel has a strong connection to the town as Edmond Dantes is from Marseille and then, after being wrongfully accused, is imprisoned at Chateau d'If for more than ten years.

Chateau d'If is the French answer to Alcatraz. Set a few miles offshore of Marseille on a scrap of rock, this squat, round fortress has variously been a harbor defense and a prison. You can tour the many prison cells. The upper gallery was reserved for wealthier political prisoners while the dungeons below consumed the poor and the worst offenders.

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Limbiate, Italy

The Château d'If was a prison built on a small island in the Bay of Marseille, which is owned by France. The site was originally used as a military fortress, but it had many features that made it an ideal prison.

Escape from the Château d'If was virtually impossible. The waters surrounding the small island were very dangerous, with fast currents that could easily drag even a strong swimmer to their death. A variety of prisoners suffered within the walls of the penitentiary; it held dangerous criminals, thieves, religious convicts, and political hostages for many years. These inmates lived in harsh conditions, and the location became well known as one of the worst prisons in existence.

While the Château d'If gained a large amount of notoriety on its own, it began to receive worldwide notice following the printing of Alexandre Dumas' novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo," in 1844. This was the tale of a man who spent 14 years imprisoned on the island before finally making a daring escape. The story made for a great fictional read and spread the infamy of the château.

In reality, no one has ever been known to escape from the Château d'If. Prisoners who spent time there were locked away for many years, often for life. Every inmate received a manner of treatment that was largely based on their wealth and social standing, so poor prisoners had a much more difficult time than the very rich. Wealthy inmates could buy a higher class cell with windows and even a fireplace. Poor individuals were placed in a dark, underground dungeon and forced to live in dirty, overcrowded conditions. Many of the prisoners were chained to walls during their stay, while others were beaten, forced into labor, or even killed.

Today, the château is still in operation, but only as a tourist attraction. People from all over the world visit to explore the famous prison that served as a setting for a beloved work of fiction and thousands of unlucky prisoners.

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The island of teh Count of Monte Cristo

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Roma, Italia

La vostra vacanza a Marsiglia non può dirsi completa senza una visita allo Chateau d'If, che in alcuni momenti dell'anno (ad esempio in inverno con il vento forte) sembra trasformarsi in un'ardua impresa. Ma con le condizioni meteorologiche giuste correte giù al Vieux Port per salpare alla volta del famoso castello del Conte di Monte Cristo, dal celebre romanzo di Alexandre Dumas. A costruire la fortezza fu Francesco I nel 1524, un luogo di grande fascino di fronte alla città di Marsiglia, che regala vedute impareggiabili.

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Florianópolis
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Fresnes, France
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Bouc-Bel-Air, France
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Chateau d'If

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