“I” in #AtoZChallenge
So our next destination in this challenge is about If in France, the Island of Prison.
And we are going to look at a prison that became famous for a person captive there, who never existed in this world. Interesting indeed right?
Yes, he is none other than Edmond Dantès of The Count of Monte Cristo. Never in history, a fictional character has influenced the common people so much like this one that we still see his location where he was jailed is made a tourist spot.
The Chateau D’If is in the Island of If. The island is situated in the Mediterranean sea just south of France, near Marseille. This being a strategic region for an invasion from the sea, in the 1500s the then king setup this as a fortress. Unfortunately, it never served as one, as no invasion happened through this place. It became famous only after 300 years of its formation.
Yes, after 3 centuries, in 1800 this fortress was changed to the prison. Why? Because, this piece of land is covered by rough sea all around, and the dangerous current in the sea made it an ideal place for one.
The Count of Monte Cristo
By 1844, Alexandre Dumas wrote a fiction in the name of The Count of Monte Cristo. The main character of this novel is called Edmond Dantès. He was held here for 14 years and later became the Count after making an unbelievable escape from this prison.
Not just that, this place also featured in the feature film The French Connection. Remember those drug exchange episode? Yes, this the place those scenes were directed.
Ok, I hear you saying “Enough of history.” So, let me stop here and get on board to visit this place. Ready?
The nearest airport is the Marseille, and the place by itself has lots of interesting sites to visit. But, there is also a nice one day tour you can take up if staying in here. No, not the Aix-en-Provence, but this is a small island south of France.
The journey to the Island of If starts from the old port of Marseille.
I was waiting at the ticket office, and since it was a nice sunny day the office had a long queue. After a long wait got my ticket and moved to the Ferry board.
The trip started with a nice view of Marseille.
Boarded the “Chevalier Paul” ferry and there you see the glimpse of Island of If.
The first view of the Chateau d’if, I do not think any prisoners would have seen this in the same way as we see today. I had so much excitement visiting the place.
To Live or Die for beauty?
The sea was so beautiful with Seagulls. The beauty was one to die for. But imagine this, the very same sea was the one people died for – I mean the prisoners would have died thinking it is better to die than to face the tortures inside the prison, Right?
The once-a-prison wall welcomes you once you land on the island. Look closer, you will find those pigeon holes like windows which is the only connection to the external world for those prisoners.
Welcome to the Prison.
Haha, is there any prisoner who was welcomed in a prison in the history?
Probably even the freedom fighters would not have been so happy in a prison cell!
I am sure we love to see the view of the Marseille through this window. But, what would have been the feeling of the inmates in this cell? Whatever be the view, I know it was just a golden cage for them?
The ferro-cious pulley.
The Well probably for the drinking water source?
The architecture is really cool given that they are constructed centuries back and not with today’s technology.
Even though it is just a prison, the feeling you get is awesome. I am sure if you had read the books of The Count of Monte Cristo, you can correlate may things in here and visualize the incidents.
Of course, you will not find the dead body which was used by the Hero to escape!!!
We don’t need to. We have our mode of transport to reach the mainland.
And there it comes, our ferry to get back to Marseille.
Do not miss to take up this short day tour if you happen to be around Marseille. And remember The Count of Monte Cristo!
My theme for the April 2018 #AtoZChallenge is blogging about the places I have been to. Let me see if I can make it through all alphabets. You can find all my #AtoZChallenge posts here.
Interested to know my next destination starting with letter I? Try commenting your guess, let’s see.
Or wait, and I promise it would definitely be worth the wait!
Are you participating too? Comment your themes here. Good luck.