The castle is 2km south west from the Vieux Port. Its was finished and armed on July 15th 1531. There were 60 men to guard it, 300 in case of danger. After 1580, they started to keep prisoners in the cells, sick galley slaves and rebels.
Some of the rooms were fine, but other were big cells for the crook. Some cells, called « pistoles », had a chimney (for the prisoners who could afford it). The others had cells with no daylight and no toilet. The worst were under the towers: doorless, windowless, only a whole in the ceiling and railings to let the air inside. The winters were cold, the summers were heavy. Sick prisoners were taken back up, then down when they felt better. They played with their life like yo-yo. The castle is well-known thanks to the legend of Edmond Dantès, The Count of Monte Cristo, from Alexandre Dumas’ novel. It was ranked historical landmark on July the 7th of 1926.
Island of If and its prison castle
Outer wall and landing stage for shuttles
The big tower
How to get there
- Starting point: Vieux Port
- Route: From the Vieux Port, take a sea shuttle for If island with no booking (See: Frioul shuttle).
It takes 20 minutes. Adult price for round trip: 11 euros
- Visit the castle: To visit the Château d’If you need to buy a ticket, different from the boat one.
Adult: 6 euros/ Free for under 18 / Free for unemployed and handicapped under 25.
- You can also get to If Island with personalized boat tours, more info here