Secrets of the legendary Chateau d'If

Journey to the Chateau d'If, the famous Alexandre Dumas in his novel "The Count of Monte Cristo."
That hide the grim walls of the legendary castle?

So, France: Corsica, Paris, Marseille, and finally Chateau d'If.
In the former Soviet Union also withdrew their adaptation adventure Count of Monte Cristo,
which still has not lost its relevance.
Dark castle, in which the protagonist languished for many years, actually exists.
Inspired by the real Chateau d'If, Alexandre Dumas created his terrible,
tragic story about an incredibly strong man,
imagines himself equal with God and considers himself a hand of Providence.
It often happens that when the characters written by this master,
they seem quite real fans.

"Dantes stood up, looked in the direction in which steers the boat and
I saw about a hundred yards in front of him a black wall of rock,
on which stood a dark castle d'If.
This quaint appearance, this prison, which is a boundless horror,
this fortress, which has three hundred years nourishes Marseille their
creepy tales, suddenly emerged in front of Dantes, and did not think
about it, made him the same effect as a scaffold to produce
sentenced to death. »

Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo »





No wonder in England on Baker Street, there is a house-museum of Sherlock Holmes, who never existed,
but whose address still get letters addressed to the brilliant detective.
So many fans of The Count of Monte Cristo although his eyes
see the Chateau d'If and the chamber where the alleged languished Edmond Dantes.
Therefore, the castle, even conceding architecturally many castles in France,
thanks to the immortal genius of Alexandre Dumas, became a symbol of the will
to the life of Edmond Dantes, once vowed to avenge his enemies.




Chateau d'If is located in the south of France in the department of Bush du Rhône
(Bouches-du-Rhone) on the smallest island in the archipelago Friulian
(L`Archipel du Frioul), that are located within a mile of the coast of Marseille.
Chateau d'If was built in 1527-1531 years. on the orders of François I to defend the city against attacks from the sea.
The castle has never been attacked and survived to our time in perfect condition.
Today, Chateau d'If - one of the "business card" of Marseille.
A lot of guests want to visit the castle.
Guided tours of the castle chambers, selling souvenirs,
and the open area is a cafe with a view of Marseille.




How did the history of the island, where he later was built Chateau d'If?
Caesar mentioned the island, when he found himself near Marseille and
stopped at this little island for a few days before the battle.

Ifs island of the archipelago of Friuli, adjacent to the islands and Pomeg Raton,
is surprisingly close to Marseilles,
and it is perfectly visible, especially with the Corniche waterfront. Small, neat and high.
At its widest point the island reaches 180 m., And its maximum length - 300 m.
For a long time the island served as a haven for pirates, smugglers, fishermen and hunters.

Actually exists to the present day Chateau d'If was built in 1527-1531 gg.
to protect the coast of Marseille from enemy attack from the sea.
It's funny that at no time in the Chateau d'If was not committed a single attack,
why he was to have survived in excellent condition
and is a great temptation for tourists, as fans of Dumas,
who want their skin to try to imagine
pain and suffering invented Edmond Dantes, and those,
who just like well-preserved castles.
French name of the Chateau d'If. It is located in the Mediterranean Sea on the south side of France
on one of the smaller islands of the archipelago Friulian (L`Archipel du Frioul),
in the department of Bush-du-Rhone. This protective structure protecting the sea lanes leading to Marseille,
its area is 30 thousand square meters.




The castle itself is located at a distance of a mile from the coast of Marseille.
The castle seems ingrown into the rock, as it was built and it is in the rock,
towering over the island is only the external structure of the square shape with
three round towers and a small patio.
Exterior walls merge with rocks. Also in the castle is a lighthouse.
Bastions of the castle towering over the island, they can be seen far from the sea and the coast.
At the end of the XVI century on the perimeter of the island was built a fortress wall,
observation tower and the church.
In Marseille, Chateau d'If is very popular, tourists there just bursting,
Castle - a former defensive bastion never empty.
In spite of its defensive function, according to the engineer Vauban,
Chateau d'If was built very badly, in a hurry, with a lot of shortcomings
and punctures. So maybe the Chateau d'If lucky that he has never him
it was not necessary to carry out its role of protection against direct attack.
Although, perhaps, many enemies of France did not attack
Marseille because of the fearsome If Castle, who knows?

Only in 1531 the Spanish king Charles V decided to attack Marseilles,
but for some reason changed his mind. The French believe,
that the king was frightened Chateau d'If. Perhaps because it was actually.
As for the second role as the Chateau d'If, roles, so poetically described by Dumas and gloomy,
Chateau d'If it really served as a prison for the politically unreliable Huguenots and other exiles,
which did not suit the then political leadership of France.




About 3500, and even more prisoners were imprisoned
in the Chateau d'If, why protective structure received not the best,
rather grim reputation. In the Chateau d'If in addition to individuals,
representing the political danger for the French politicians of the time,
were also imprisoned leaders of the Paris Commune. A lot of Protestants,
who found themselves in the Chateau d'If from 1689,
there and ended his life. From celebrities to the Chateau d'If languished young Mirabeau,
who spent six months in prison,
planted with his own father. But his camera was a luxury he could even hold in their techniques.
Despite the legend got accustomed, even one of the characters of Dumas - the mysterious Iron Mask
 - Has not been imprisoned in the castle, as well as the Marquis de Sade, who sat in many places, but not on this island.

But the camera sinister If Castle remember dissolute hermit who eventually burned at the stake, the ship's captain
"Grand St. Anthony", which was responsible for spreading the plague to Marseille and many other accidents,
became prisoners of the stone walls of the world famous prison. In the 1830s in the Chateau d'If ceased to put criminals,
but in 1871, here exiled leaders of the Paris Commune,
and Gaston Cremieux, their leader, was shot in the territory of the Chateau d'If.
The only time the gun fired on the island of Chateau d'If,
it happened when King Francis I met Catherine de Medici.



Military garrison on the island was served by a sixty people.

The very first inmates of the castle was a knight Anselm, who was killed in his cell.
Then there is contained a lot of convicts, and even a sailor,
which roughly said his captain sat in his cell for 30 years.



In what conditions contained prisoners? The rich, who could and from prison to manage their condition,
settled in the upper chamber, where there was a window and "sea view».
And the poorest thrown into the interior of the castle close to the camera without a single window.

For tourists, the castle was opened in 1890, and the demilitarized at the end of the 19th century. July 7, 1926
Chateau d'If a special decree was entered in the list of historical monuments of great national importance for France.
To swim to the Chateau d'If is required to overcome the old pier and ancient fortifications of stone.
Steep road with old walls leads to the castle itself,
where there is also a former Marseille plague quarantine.
To climb to the castle, to climb the spiral staircase and exit the stuffy narrow courtyard,
where there is a well, terrace with casemates,
separated from each other by a rusty lattice. Each dungeon is marked commemorative plaque.



Narrow windows cameras prisoners If Castle Above each casemate commemorative plaque attached:
"Lock-man, nicknamed" Iron Mask "," Comte de Mirabeau had spent the years 1774-1775 »,
and finally "Lock-E. Dantes, the Count of Monte Cristo».





And it is "the same hole" through which Edmond Dantes climbed to the Abbe Faria.



For those who are really passionate about creativity Dumas and his mysterious character
Count of Monte Cristo, of course, is not difficult to guess,
that a real camera, which languished Edmond Dantes in the Chateau d'If, of course not.
Although, as tourists in England show house of Sherlock Holmes, and leisure,
desired to admire the camera Edmond,
show one of the chambers. Of course, this is not the dark chamber in the cave, which was mentioned in the novel,
and an ordinary camera for state criminals.



In these cells were kept as described Alexandre Dumas, namely public
criminals in the 19th century, when the Chateau d'If served as a prison.
Until the 19th century, also erected in 1524 on the orders of François I lock
was protective military garrison and as a place of incarceration of criminals
unused. Now, this popular tourist castle receives many visitors from all over the world,
then sell souvenirs demonstrate chamber where prisoners were kept,
as well as on the grounds of the castle there is a great cafe with views of Marseille.



No less striking character of the famous works of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo "is the Abbe Faria,
where the famous writer "settle" in the next cell Edmond Dantes in the Chateau d'If.
It is this true scientist Edmond became a mentor in the Chateau d'If and helped him to come to the image of the perfect creature.
Was there Abbe Faria really? Or his image
the same fruit author of fiction, as does the Count of Monte - Cristo?



Comte de Mirabeau dungeon, one of the most famous orators of the French Revolution.

Yes, Abbe Faria - a real historical person.
In fact, the Abbe Faria mastered the technique of hypnosis, which he learned in India, where he was born.
As in the novel, the Abbe Faria dreamed of independence of his people, he knew how to speak beautifully and drag the masses of people.
And in real life Faria was in the role of the offender for their bold ideas about the freedom of his people.
As a very dangerous criminal, shackled in chains, he was sent to Lisbon,
and three years later the unknown patron helped courageous scientist to flee to France.
His book about hypnosis and hypnotic sessions in France was a huge success,
but for conspiring against the government of the abbot again crammed in solitary confinement in the Bastille.
Again, a daring escape, which failed bookish character Dumas. And the Abbe Faria involved in the storming of the Bastille.
And yet, as a book character Dumas, the real Abbe Faria died in prison in 1819, but not in the Chateau d'If.



Camera Abbe Faria.



Alexandre Dumas heroes will live in our memories and our hearts, no matter what they never existed.
It is quite banal protective structure made carelessly and hastily, Chateau d'If on the tiny island,
will attract a new generation of tourists who, walking along Marcel, will seek hut bride Edmond, Mercedes,
and the sea will represent the final journey Dantes sailor on the boat with the escort,
when he opened the terrible and horrible sight - Chateau d'If on the horizon, its long-term prison,
where he was in his last years was able to learn the secret of the treasure on the island of Monte Cristo,
learn more than one language, learn the truth about their enemies and become a philosopher. And all this thanks to the Chateau d'If and Abbe Faria.



And it may be so for many tourists Chateau d'If is not a symbol of the terrible prison, where groans unfortunate prisoners,
who gave the castle all his life, as a symbol of refuge for one of the most charismatic and brilliant fictional men of the last century.
Chateau d'If was inspired by Alexandre Dumas on the image of the ideal avenger, an angel with black wings, the perfect weapon of Providence.



The castle was built directly into the rock. on the surface of the island is located just a square building with a courtyard
and three round towers. On the grounds of the castle as a lighthouse, and walls merge edges of rocks.
High ramparts crowned island cliffs, looking towards the sea and the coast.



In our time at one of the sites built cafe, which is designed for tourists interested in such a grim,
truly gothic place as Chateau d'If. I wonder what Dumas extended life to this place.
In 1890, when it became known that the castle can be a great place of pilgrimage for tourists who love this novel,
it was opened to the public.



The passage between the chambers.



One of the death row.































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