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The prison of the Count of Monte Cristo is in Marseilles

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Monte Cristo Jail

Maybe when you travel on your vacation, you like to go to places like the Prison of the Count of Monte Cristo, unusual, intrepid… to these places that we like to know thanks to all their history. When you visit places steeped in history and find yourself inside temples, castles, or ruined cities, you get an inner sense of who you were back when it was so important. It’s a way to go back in time and learn about the history of the place.

Today I want to tell you more about the Conde de Monte Cristo prison, a place through which thousands of people travel miles and miles with the sole purpose of knowing it and being able learn more about its history. In addition, it is a place located in a spectacular environment that in no way can leave you indifferent.

The Chateau d’If

The Château d’If is built on the smallest island of the Frioul archipelago, which is located in Marseille. It is a fortification that was built no less than 1529 by the order of Francisco I of France with the intention of defending the city against possible invaders to avoid disasters for its population.

Monte Cristo Prison

Monte Cristo Jail

Shortly after its construction, it ceased to function as a fortress to defend the population and began to function as a prison, a function that it would maintain for almost 3 centuries, since it continued in this way until 1870. Many famous people have been imprisoned that literature and the cinema placed among these fortresses. But neither the Marquis de Sade who was incarcerated in another prison in Marseilles nor the man in the iron mask found his bones here, that is to say, no matter how much literature and cinema places them between these walls, they have not found their bones. dead body.

Alexandre Dumas also immortalized it and made it even more famous by imprisoning here his most famous character in the adventure novel. “The Tale of Montecristo”. In this novel, the character manages to escape from the island but no escape has ever been reported.

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In 1890 it was opened to the public as a tourist attraction and today some 90,000 people a year travel many kilometers to reach Marseille and be able to walk its interesting corridors.

interesting facts

Montecristo prison from the sea

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There is a curious anecdote that happened on the small island before the first foundations of the fortification began to be laid.. A Portuguese ship carrying me a rhinoceros (which was a gift from Manuel I of Portugal to Pope Leo X) stopped over on this small island.

Francisco I went in person with a large part of his yard just to contemplate the animal, since they had never seen a specimen so close and in their land, it was not usual to find this type of animal.

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If you can, do not hesitate to visit the top of the towers. In the center of one of them there is a shaking echo that children love. Rebels, villains and criminals were imprisoned here for different periods, but it was from the 17th century during the first wars of religion that many Protestants were thrown into the dungeons where many of them died or were left for dead. The prison was closed at the end of the 19th century.

How to get to the prison of the Count of Monte Cristo

Starting from Marseille at the old port, you can take a tourist boat to this island, and you can find it just off the coast. It departs from the Quai de Belges (the Quai des Belges). It usually departs every hour starting at nine in the morning and ending at five in the afternoon, although the last boat to return is at ten to ten in the afternoon. In the archipelago you can find great coves to enjoy a good day at the beach.

Montecristo prison surrounded by water

It is not a long journey to the destination. The island is the smallest and children like to see the rock fortress which looks like a huge castle in such a small place. The kind of castle will be at your side if you also want to enjoy a good day at the beach.

When you are there, you can visit the prison, the museum and other parts of the island. If you are hungry or thirsty, there is a small bar on the island. When you arrive, remember that it is very important that you note the times of the greetings so that you do not stay there without being able to return. Ask about the schedule in case there have been any changes.

The views of the city of Marseille from the island are also spectacular, so don’t hesitate to take your camera and enjoy these magnificent views. It is necessary that you be very careful, especially if you go with children, especially when walking around the island, because there are nesting places for gulls and they can be very aggressive when protecting their nests. Gulls may think you are attacking or want to harm their eggs or young and may attack aggressively.

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A nice trip to Marseille

If you want to visit this magnificent castle, fortress and which was also a prison, do not hesitate to prepare your trip to Marseille to spend an incredible holiday. The visit to the fortress will last only one day and it will be enough to see everything, but you can visit Marseille and discover what it has to offer on your days off.

If you don’t know what to do in such a beautiful city, don’t hesitate to visit their website and find out what they have for you. You will be able to see all its important buildings, its beautiful districts, discover its gastronomy, meet its inhabitants, enjoy the climate and all the activities it offers to tourists.

It is clear that if you decide to go to the prison of the Count of Monte Cristo, you can also enjoy an incredible vacation in the city of Marseille. Do you already know when you will leave?

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