A boat ride to either Chateau d’If or to the Frioul Islands and entrance fee to Chateau d’If are complimentary with the City Pass. But it’s an extra 5 euros if you want to go to both locations though I’m not sure anyone actually checked our tickets.
It was lovely, but our visit was rushed as we had to return back to the mainland to meet a friend of our aunt, a woman we did not know. More about this in another post.
The ride to Chateau d’If
Château d’If: If is the smallest island in the Frioul Archipelago. The Château is a fortress built here in 1524 by King Francis I. It was made famous by Alexander Duma’s novel The Count of Monte Cristo in which the falsely jailed protagonist, Dantes, made an escape. In real life, none of the prisoners (detained on religious eg. French Huguenots and political grounds) escaped from this harrowing, much feared prison.
Glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea and of Marseille through a slit in the fortress
Cell windows as seen from outside
Courtyard of the château: The château ceased to be a prison at the end of the 19th century. It was opened to the public in 1890.
Graffiti on the inside walls of the château: mostly left by visitors such as BS in 1909 (upper left top picture), CE in 1912 (bottom right, top picture) and MC in 1904 (middle picture) and likely by former prisoners left to rot away.
Door to a room: before you start to think the cells are huge, remember most prisoners were packed in together in the dark rooms
View from a cell in the Château d’If
Top of the fortress
Close-up of the base of the fortress: water so clear, so blue, so fresh.
Birds of the fortress
Did I mention how clear the water is?
At the other Frioul Islands: We didn’t have enough time to explore the sandy creeks, beaches, impressive calanques and wildlife like I would have hoped for
Watching a hermit crab scramble away from me