Château d’If is a famous castle in southern France. It stands atop a small limestone island opposite the harbor of Marseille. The “château” is a square, three-story building 28m (92ft) long on each side, flanked by three towers with large gunembrasures on 3 hectars of land.
Built by Francis I in 1524-31, the castle was used for 400 years as a state prison. Located on the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago situated in the Mediterranean Sea, and it is famous for being one of the settings of Alexandre Dumas’ adventure novel, The Count of Monte Cristo.
Originally built as a naval fortress, the island was chosen for its strategic position as a defense for the city of Marseille. On every hill was built a military fort, batteries, trenches, and observation posts scattered throughout the archipelago. The Château d’If was converted to a prison in 1516…
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