If Castle in Marseille
One of the most popular places in Marseille is the If castle. The phenomenon of its popularity is based on characters, one of which has never been there – the Iron Mask, and the other was a fictional hero – Edmond Dantes (Alexander Dumas “Count of Monte Cristo”). Millions of tourists annually come to If Island to walk through the prison rooms, soak up the spirit of mystery and danger of the premises. Being originally a fort for defense against attacks from the sea, only once in its entire history were guns fired from If Castle. So King Francis I greeted Catherine de Medici who came to him. The tourist attraction does not suffer from a lack of tourists. This is largely due to the works of Alexander Dumas. Do not be his heroes, it is not known whether If Castle was so popular. Warning that you should not expect much from visiting Edmond Dantes’ detention center. The island is small, the fort does not possess architectural delights, there are few cameras for inspection in it. If, being in Marseille, you have a little time, literally 2-3 hours, then you can safely go on a journey to the castle of the human spirit and willpower. Experience indescribable emotions from the interior of the castle, narrow stairs, a sense of fear and hopelessness. The fort was built to stop enemies from the sea. But even today, he is still menacing and mysterious. And it always attracted people. The path to the mysterious castle (how to get there) In Marseille, boats and small boats departing from the Old Port from special piers, bringing tourists to the If castle. Often they are called the names of the heroes of Dumas. All boats and ferries go in a circle: Old port-castle If – Friuli Islands – Old port. You can buy a ticket only at one of the points or on the entire route. Due to the weather, a trip to the castle may not take place. Carefully read the schedule of trips to the island. How much does it cost to travel to If Island A visit to the museum in the castle will cost five and a half euros. For tourists under 18 years old, admission is free. There is a system of discounts for students and senior citizens. There is a small pleasant moment: if you are traveling together with four and you have a child under 12 years old, then a ticket for a boat to the castle will cost three and a half euros less. A boat ticket to the island costs about 15 euros. When you can get into the dungeon (opening hours) You can get to If castle only by sea. Ferries from the Old Port from a special pier begin to leave at 9:15. The frequency of flights is 15 minutes. The symbolic name of the boat is “Edmon Dantes”. Superstitious tourists can not worry: they will not be imprisoned in the castle for many years. The last ferry leaves at 18:15. The museum in the castle is open from 9:30 to 17:00. Monday is a day off. The castle on the island of If accepts guests (temporarily, of course) from 9:40 to 17:40 from mid-May to September 20. On other days, from 9:00 to 15:30. There is a day off in prison – Monday. (from September 15 to March 31, as well as January 1 and December 25). A short dive into the works of Alexander Dumas (time planning) A sea trip from Marseille to If Island will take about 25 minutes. Staying in the castle, excursion and walk around the island will last no more than 3 hours. You yourself will see that the island is small, you can inspect it in an hour. From the island of torture to the world famous museum (a bit of history) Only 4 km separates the castle from Marseille. The mention of the island itself, even without a castle, is found in the time of Caesar. He was on the island a couple of days before the battle and the impression about this place was not very personal (Caesar called the island “a gathering of all rabble”). The island is tiny, neat, its width is 180 meters, length – 300 meters. If area is 30 thousand square meters. For a long time, smugglers, pirates, fishermen, and hunters hid on it. In the Mediterranean Sea on the island of If Friuli archipelago, by order of King Francis I, the construction of the fort began in 1524, which was to perform a defensive function from raids from the sea. Until 1531, its construction was completed. The castle itself is not a unique structure: a square-shaped building and three round towers. Another castle complex (if this expression is applicable here) includes a courtyard, an observation tower, a church. Already at the end of the 16th century, the castle began to serve as a prison for dangerous villains. Since then, it has been called the Castle of If. The involuntary inhabitants here were the Huguenots, the leaders of the Paris Commune, politicians and disagreeable persons for the French government.