The prison of the Count of Monte Cristo is in Marseille

Montecristo Prison

Maybe when you travel on your vacations you like to go to places like the prison of the Count of Monte Cristo, unusual, intrepid ... to those places that you like to know thanks to all their history. When you visit places with great history and you are inside temples, castles or demolished cities, you have an internal feeling of how if you were in the time when it was so important. It is a way of going back in the past and knowing the history of the places.

Today I want to talk to you about more about the prison of the Count of Montecristo, a place through which thousands of people travel kilometers and kilometers with the sole intention of knowing it and being able to discover more about its history. In addition, it is a place that is in a spectacular environment that will not leave you indifferent in any way.

The castle of If

The Castle of If is built on the smallest island of the Friuli archipelago that is located in Marseille. It is a fortification that was built no less than in 1529 by the order of Francisco I of France with the intention of defending the city from possible invaders to avoid catastrophes in its population.

Montecristo Prison

The jail of Monte Cristo

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 will continue for almost 3 centuries, as it continued until 1870.  Many famous people were imprisoned to which literature and cinema placed them among these strengths. But neither the Marquis de Sade, who was imprisoned in another Marseille jail, nor the man in the iron mask found their bones here, that is, no matter how much literature and cinema place them within these walls, they did not find their bones. mortal remains.

Alexander Dumas also immortalized her and made her even more famous for imprisoning here his best-known character in the adventure novel "The Count of Monte Cristo."  In this novel, the character manages to escape from the island but no escape has ever been reported.

In 1890 it was opened to the public as a tourist attraction and today, there are about 90.000 people a year who travel many kilometers to reach Marseille and be able to walk through its interesting corridors.

Interesting anecdotes

Montecristo prison from the sea

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 to transport me a rhino (which was a gift from Manuel I of Portugal to Pope Leo X) made a stopover on this small island.

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

If you can, do not hesitate to visit the top of the towers. In the center of one of them there is an echo that shudders and that children love. Rebels, villains and criminals were imprisoned here for different periods of time, but it was from the seventeenth century during the first religious wars that large numbers of Protestants were thrown into the dungeons where many of them died or were left to die. The prison was closed at the end of the XNUMXth century.

How to get to the prison of the Count of Montecristo

Starting from Marseille in the old port, you can catch a tourist boat to this island, and you can find it just off the coast. It departs from Quai de Belges (the quay of the Belgians). It usually has a departure every hour starting at nine in the morning and ending at five in the afternoon, although the last return boat is at ten to seven in the afternoon. In the archipelago you can find some 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 rocky fortress that 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 get hungry or thirsty, there is a small bar on the island. When you arrive, remember that it is very important that you write down the times of the greetings so that you do not stay there without being able to return. Ask for the schedule in case there has been any kind of modification.

The views of the city of Marseille from the island are also spectacular, so do not hesitate to take your camera and enjoy those wonderful views. You need to be very careful, especially if you go with children, especially when walking around the island, since there are nesting places for large gulls and they can be very aggressive when protecting their nests. Seagulls may think that you are attackers or that you want to harm their eggs or young and they may attack aggressively.

A nice trip in Marseille

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

If you do not know what to do in such a beautiful city, do not hesitate to enter on your website and discover what they have for you. You will be able to see all its important buildings, its beautiful neighborhoods, discover its gastronomy, meet its people, enjoy the weather and all the activities it has for tourists.

It is clear that if you decide to travel 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 go?


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