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The If Castle

Historic site and monument, Historic patrimony, Fortified castle, Castle at Marseille

  • Until the 16th century, If is an uninhabited island and the occasional haven of fishermen. It is François I, who, during a visit to Marseille in 1516, assesses its strategic importance and gives the order to build a fortress on it. 
In a very... Until the 16th century, If is an uninhabited island and the occasional haven of fishermen. It is François I, who, during a visit to Marseille in 1516, assesses its strategic importance and gives the order to build a fortress on it. 
In a very short time, the fortress changes its purpose and becomes a prison. Rebels, ruffians and refractory galley slaves stayed there for more or less long periods.
From 1689 onwards, the Protestants are thrown en masse into the unhealthy dungeons where many of them die. However, the fortress offers quite decent living conditions to distinguished prisoners.
The most famous prisoner was without José Custodio Faria, whom Alexandre Dumas immortalized in the Count of Monte Cristo. After having received the revels of 1848 and the communards of 1871, the fortress lost its prison character and was opened to the public in 1890. As regards Edmond Dantès, the Count of Monte Christo, the chronicle of If has no trace of his imprisonment. On the other hand, the hole which he dug in the wall of one of the cells is still very visible.
The Château d'If can be visited thanks to a regular boat service and welcomes every year more than 90 000 visitors.
www.monuments-nationaux.fr
  • Environment
    • Waterside
    • On an island
Rates
Payment methods
  • Cash
  • Bank/credit card
  • Cheque
  • Chèques Vacances
Openings
  • From January 2, 2020
    until March 31, 2020
  • From April 2, 2020
    until October 2, 2020
  • Tuesday
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Saturday
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sunday
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Monday
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Friday
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Saturday
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sunday
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • En cas d'intempéries (absence de passage bateau), les agents du château d'If tiennent une permanence à 2 min à pied du Vieux Port à l'adresse suivante : 8, rue Glandeves 13001 Ouverture du château du 2 avril au 2 octobre tous les jours de 10h à 18h, fériés inclus sauf 1er mai La visite guidée est proposée sur place tous les jours à 11h15, 14h30 et 16h. Le château est exceptionnellement fermé le jeudi 5 décembre en raison du mouvement national de grève.