"CHATEAU D'IF....." Château d'If Tip by eden_teuling

Château d'If, Marseille: 26 reviews and 80 photos

  BOAT TO CHATEAU D'IF
by eden_teuling
 
 

That;s me, looking at the boat that will take travellers and residents to Chateau d'If and the isle of Frioul.

Until the 16th Century, the Isle of If was a wilderness, just an occasional haven for fishermen. It was François I who, during a visit to Marseille in 1516, realized its strategic importance and gave orders for a fortress to be built there.

On his arrival at the island by galley, the Monarch unexpectedly encountered a rhinoceros, peacefully grazing on the sparse grasses. It was a present from a maharadja to the king of Portugal, who has given it to the Pope, with a stopover on the island of If on its way to Rome!!

In 1531 the fortress was completed.
The chateau, incorporating 3 towers and a dungeon now controlled the bay of Marseilles. When the King returned in 1533 to meet Catherine de Médicis, the culverins and bombards thundered in his honour. For many years on end this was the only time they were heard.

Very quickly the fortress became a prison . Rebels, villains and recalcitrant galley slaves were imprisoned here for varying lengths of time.

Srarting in the 17th Century, large numbers of Protestants were thrown into the dungeons where many of them parished.

to be continued...
see the next tip

Address: If
Directions: in front of Marseille in the Mediterradean....
Phone: 33(0)4 91 13 89 00
Website: http://WWW.MARSEILLE-TOURISME.COM

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 4, 2005
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eden_teuling

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