However, other locations have been used to represent Château d'If in film adaptations of the work. Demolition loomed. Balzac once described the duo as “one of the most delicious follies ever created … the most royal sweetbox in existence.” Everything about the life and times of Alexandre Dumas was filled with romance. It was rescued from destruction in 1969 by the local authorities and the Friends of Monte-Cristo. His father, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was a general in the French army and provided inspiration for his son’s writings. Alexandre Dumas > Quotes > Quotable Quote “Dantes had entered the Chateau d’If with the round, open, smiling face of a young and happy man, with whom the early paths of life have been smooth. Chateau d’If is a former prison on an island at the entrance to Le Vieux Port in the Bay of Marseille. It couldn't last forever, not even for Dumas. But the most famous prisoner here was undoubtedly Edmond Dantès, the protagonist of Dumas' novel The Count of Monte Cristo. Mondays from 2nd January to 1st April and from 2nd october to 31st December 2. This was Dumas' study, where he retreated for hours on end to write in peace and solitude. The cliff-top watchtower can be seen from the ferry crossing between Malta and Gozo. The chateau de Monte-Cristo is a delight, with sculpted facades on every side. On the grounds of Chateau de Monte Cristo in Marly le Roi, France. The noise of the waves dashing against the rocks on which the chateau is built, reached Dantes’ ear distinctly as they went forward. He held court, entertained his female conquests and organised fabulous parties, serving up culinary dishes of his his own devising. “Bad weather!” observed one of … (Subject to modification. The Château d’If is located on the island of If, which is one of four islands that make up the Frioul archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea off of the coast of Marseille. The island is part of the Frioul archipelago, overlooking the central harbour. In 1848, pursued by his many creditors, Dumas decided to sell his property along with all his furniture and decorative objects. Dumas' home was full of pets, too. Money was no object and he employed the fashionable architect Hippolyte Durand, who went on to design the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception at Lourdes in 1872. His rather romantic vision was for a Renaissance château with the smaller red-brick Le Château d’If as his workspace, an English-style park and plenty of grottoes, rockeries, and small waterfalls. The park became overgrown and the sculptures were broken.The owner, a private development company that had rented out the chateau for a number of years, planned to build 400 new homes on the site. Château d’If is an old island prison off the coast of Marseille. The last visit depends on the timetable of boats, information at the tourist information center, on our website (External link)or on Frioul If express. The château passed from hand to hand, suffered from neglect and became dilapidated. Cont de Monte cristo idea has been realised by Alexander Dumas.. Date of experience: March 2019 Ask John Dan K about Chateau d'If There are many day trips you can take from Paris, but one of the best for any fan of literature or architecture must visit the Château de Monte Cristo just outside Paris. It’s where his hero was wrongly imprisoned for years. In the 2002 adaptation starring Jim Caviezel, the château was represented by Saint Mary's Tower on Comino, the smallest inhabited Maltese island. His door was  open to everyone, including many who lived at his expense, taking advantage of his legendary hospitality and open-handedness. Review of Chateau d'If Reviewed April 11, 2017 Castle then using prisoner. Despite the vast amounts of money he earned, he was forced to sell the château though he remained there until 1851. The intimate room—perfect for seduction—was decorated by a Tunisian craftsman he met during his extensive travels and brought back to work on the building. The “chateau d’If” – Dumas’ name for this charming neo-gothic castle – stands in its own moat and is full of architectural curiosity. Celebrated by Alexandre Dumas and his character Edmond Dantès, the Count of Monte Cristo, the Château d'If is one of the most visited sites in Marseille, with more than 100,000 visitors a year. They were crafted by Tunisian artisans in the service the Bey of Tunis, commissioned and brought here by Dumas after one of his voyages. It’s the tale of sailor Edmond Dantès who was wrongly accused of treason and spent 14 years at Chateau d’If … Unlike him, your stay at Chateau d'If won't be 14 years of unjust imprisonment. The family coat of arms is carved on the pediment, along with Dumas' personal motto: "I love those who love me." Have you visited these 9 French cities? He hired Hippolyte Durand, a notable architect of the day to make his dream a reality. Legend of Château d’If In Literature Alexandre Dumas from photo display at Chateau d’If (J. Chung) Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) was born in Picardy, France and was a successful playwright and novelist. The park folds the chateau in a green embrace - a graceful setting. Pour une simple halte ou pour une visite plus longue, de multiples activités sont proposées :… 7 Châteaux You Can See by Train or Bus From Paris, The Best Things to See & Do in Marseille, France, Top 20 Most Popular French Cities for International Visitors, 10 Classic & Recent Books That Transport You Straight to France, 48 Hours in Marseille, France: The Ultimate Itinerary, The Top 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France, Top 10 Paris Hotels Close to the Eiffel Tower, Enjoy a Day in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, France's Many Islands Make a Perfect Getaway. The Moorish room on the first floor comes as a surprise among the European-style decor, but it's as authentic as you could want. 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. It takes you through the story of this extraordinary writer. The roof developed holes and water began to seep inside. The castle was made famous when Alexandre Dumas père, the 19th-century French writer, used it as one of the settings in his novel The Count of Monte Cristo … Mary Anne Evans is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. Protestants and Republicans, plus anyone opposing official authority was imprisoned at Château d’If from 1580 until 1871. Dumas wanted a garden in the English style planted with the finest trees : "larches, fir trees, oak, birch, hornbeam, limetrees..." The area's natural features combined with its numerous springs were the perfect ingredients for the idealised romantic atmosphere he sought, and the result is beautifully stage-managed. Château d'If Off the coast of Marseille, discover the Château d’If and its unique panorama. The dream included a renaissance chateau standing close by a gothic castle in miniature, complete with its own small moat. The literal English translation is the Castle or Fortress of Possibility. On the first floor is one of the highlights of the chateau: a salon decorated in authentic moorish style. Château d'If History To escape the pressure of his fame, Dumas moved from Paris to Saint Germain-en-Laye then found a plot of land on a hill just by Le Port-Marly for his new project which was to be his ’miniature paradise on earth’. cried he (…) Alexandre Dumas (father) The Count of Monte Cristo. Built on a small 30.000 square meters island in the Bay of Marseille, this fortified fortress with walls guarding every inch of its coast represented perfect place for prison. On the 22nd March, 1849, Alexandre Dumas settled up for the modest sum of 31,000 gold francs, though the property had cost him hundreds of thousands. It was made legendary by Alexandre Dumas in his classic novel, The Count of Monte Cristo. I observed that while Dumas tries to create a feeling of horror, he portrays the Château d'If as a rather benevolent prison. Author: Moonik. The Château d’If was built from 1524-31 under the order of Francis I. Apr 9, 2012 - Chateau d'If Alexandre Dumas built this little castle in 1844 as his writing hideaway. Vaux-le-Vicomte Near Paris Started With Intrigue and Ended in Glory, The Ultimate Château Road Trip Through Burgundy, France, Explore the Home of Alexandre Dumas in Monte Cristo. The writer had portraits of historic playwrights placed above each ground floor window - but pride of place goes to Dumas himself, who still greets you from above the entrance. Today films and TV series ensure that his classics which include The Man in the Iron Mask and The Count of Monte Cristo (set on the Ile d'If just off Marseille) are familiar to a whole new generation. The gardens were to be laid out "à l'anglaise", with grottos, ornamental rocks and waterfalls... Dumas gave instructions and the estate was created according to his wishes. “I had a chance to read Monte Christo in prison once, too, but not to the end. The writer stamped his creative soul on the building; its facades are carved with titles of his works, and decorated with sculptures of some of his fictional heroes. The name was taken from the Alexandre Dumas classic, The Count Of Monte Cristo in which the main character, Edmond Dantes is imprisoned on the island prison of Chateau d'If where he grows and transforms into the person he was always meant to be. It is the tale of a man who spent 14 years imprisoned on the island before finally making a daring escape. The walls are decorated with fine stucco sculptures and arabesques. Keep in mind that entrance to the fortress costs extra – 6 euros (around $7). A generous host and bon viveur, he lived surrounded by his mistresses and friends, hangers-on and his dogs, cats, parrots, and monkeys. Château d'If is today regarded as one of the most famous European prisons. Surrounded by rolling parkland, the Renaissance-style château is quite small. Dumas loved to entertain at Monte-Cristo. Château d'if The Défi de Monte-Cristo, an exceptional challenge where sporting effort joins the cultural imagination thanks to Alexandre Dumas, wanted to give on its website all the place that the Château d'If deserves: That of a historic and legendary place known all over the world! Little by little, the chateau fell into disrepair and lost its prestige. Monte-Cristo is pure Alexandre Dumas, a genuine reflection of his creative imagination. The château is delightful, a rather homely castle you could imagine living in. Dumas' history, personality and literary inspiration are visible everywhere you turn - from flowers, angels and musical instruments, to heraldic arms and strange beasts. It stands atop a small limestone island opposite the harbor of Marseille, and its terrace affords a splendid view of the port. 2nd october to 31st December: from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. The property changed hands several times until 1969. and who anticipates a future corresponding with his past. The château passed from hand to hand, suffered from neglect and became dilapidated. "People fall in love with this monument, 2nd April to 30th September: from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. 2. Château d'If is open every day except Monday, from Jan. 2 to April 1 and from Oct. 2 to Dec. 31, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is this fictional character from the novel of Alexandre Dumas that made the Château d’If so popular among tourists visiting Marseilles. The decorated stairs of the Château d’If. Flush with the success of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte-Cristo (both published as serial novels in newspapers), he was looking for somewhere where he could escape the turmoil of the city, and find the calm he needed to produce new manuscripts for his editors. The island of If is 1.5 km offshore of the Bay of Marseille, and 3.5 km from Vieux Port. He spoke Italian like a Tuscan, and Spanish like a Castilian; he would have been free, and happy with Mercedes and his father, whereas he was now confined in the Chateau d’If, that impregnable fortress, ignorant of the future destiny of his father and Mercedes; and all … Visitors can take a ferry boat from the Vieux Port (Old Port) to … Open )* 2nd January to 1st April: from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. 1. Here’s our guide to the history behind … Chateau Dumas Chateau Dumas is a beautiful 18th century estate with 22 acres of private gardens and pool located in the countryside in southwest France, one hour north of the vibrant city of Toulouse. +33 1 39 16 49 49, The Syndicat intercommunal de Monte-Cristo. That's especially true of the park, where Dumas' generosity of spirit and extravagance captivates now just as it did in his lifetime. Léon Gozlan – L'Almanach comique - 1848. Naturally, Dumas christened the chateau the "Château de Monte-Cristo" and the Gothic house the "Chateau D'If." In a final flourish, the pinnacles rising from the chateau's two turrets are inscribed with the writer's monogram. Château de Monte-Cristo • 78560 Le Port-Marly • Tél. Partez à la découverte du château d’If, lieu emblématique de l’œuvre d’Alexandre Dumas, le comte de Monte-Cristo. Not to mention his missing such nice details as the carrying of the latrine bucket from the cell daily, about which Dumas with the ignorance of a free person says nothing. Its honey-colored facade, just three stories high and topped with round domes, is covered with stone carvings of floral motifs, angels, musical instruments and great writers and philosophers including the likes of Dante, Homer, and Shakespeare. You wander through a small set of rooms decorated with furniture, art, sculptures, and artifacts. This was Dumas' study, where he retreated for hours on end to write in peace and solitude. Chateau d’If was a notorious prison in its own right but it became world famous with the publication of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo in 1844. The narrator says that Dantes himself is on the verge of madness after his days spent in the horrid conditions of the Chateau D’If, thinking only of Mercedes and his father. A sculpture of a dog in a niche decorates the stairs leading up to the Château d’If. The Chateau d'If is the island fortress located off the coast of Marseille France. Dumas himself is center stage above the main entrance. In If Its castle, built by the French king Francis I in 1524, was later used as a state prison. It is famous for being one of the settings of Alexandre Dumas’ adventure novel, The Count of Monte Cristo. Dumas died in 1870 at Puys, near Dieppe, in the house of his son Alexandre Dumas the Younger, best known for The Lady of the Camellias. She lives part-time in Auvergne, France and writes travel articles about the country. Making my way through the gardens ‘à l’Anglaise’, past grottoes, rockeries, waterfalls and pools, I found myself in front of Le Château d’If, an exquisite miniature storybook castle. CC BY-SA 3.0 He was then living in Saint Germain en Laye. Still attached to his home, Dumas was able to remain at Monte-Cristo with the consent of the buyer, until 1851, when he left his personal paradise behind for exile in Belgium. Reportedly, some 550 out of the 600 individuals who showed up at Dumas’s housewarming on July 25 1847 were gatecrashers. Dogs and cats roamed the grounds, but the menagerie included parrots, monkeys and even a vulture ... life was never dull chez Dumas. 1st January, 1st May and 25th December and subject to bad weather Built as a fortress against Mediterranean Sea raiders between 1524 and 1531, Chateau d’If is still situated on its small, forbidding island about a mile from the French city of Marseille. Specialties: Sur les traces du Masque de Fer L'île d'If est la plus petite île de l'archipel du Frioul avec ses 3 hectares de rocher blanc. Taken by this stretch of the Seine, he chose a plot on the slopes of Port-Marly as the perfect spot to build his new home. Fountains, rockeries and waterfalls completed the effect. The Château de Monte-Cristo is a writer's house museum located in the French country. After that Dumas lived a peripatetic existence in Belgium, Russia, and Italy. The Château d’If, as Dumas named it, is a delightful tiny neo-gothic castle, whose facades are carved with titles of his work. The monument is open Our teams are happy to welcome you safely and in accordance with the new visit methods presented on this following page. In 1844, Alexandre Dumas was at the height of his fame. It was the home of the famous French writer, Alexandre Dumas, père. The writer stamped his creative soul on the building; its facades are carved with titles of his works, and decorated with sculptures of some of his fictional heroes. The notorious fortress that was part of the setting for the historic novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas was infamously the prison for many of France’s political and religious captives. Closed 1. • The Château d'If is famous for being one of the settings of Alexandre Dumas' adventure novel The Count of Monte Cristo. The "chateau d'If" - Dumas' name for this charming neo-gothic castle - stands in its own moat and is full of architectural curiosity. The "chateau d'If" - Dumas' name for this charming neo-gothic castle - stands in its own moat and is full of architectural curiosity. World of Fantasy. It’s a delightful château that the author Alexander Dumas (1802-1870) had built for him in 1844 after his two novels, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers shot him to the top of 19th-century bestsellers lists. rather as the young fall in love with the moon" In an emotional response, two preservation groups came together to save this heritage from the threat of the speculators. Château d'If Château d'If, a famous castle in southern France. It was rescued from destruction in 1969 … The writer stamped his creative soul on the building; its facades are carved with titles of his works, and decorated with sculptures of some of his fictional heroes. Dumas’ reputation as a literary giant suffered a roller coaster as fashions changed and it wasn’t until the late 20th century that his reputation was re-established. It became famous as a result of the publication of a book by the French writer Alexandre Dumas called "The Count of Monte Cristo". Dumas died in 1870 at Puys, near Dieppe, in the house of his son Alexandre Dumas the Younger, best known for The Lady of the Camellias. The most famous prisoner of the Château d’If was Edmond Dantes – the later count of Monte Cristo. “The Château d’If ? They're all worth a look at.