The Château d'If is well-known to be the place of imprisonment of Edmond Dantès, the hero of Alexandre Dumas' adventure novel 'The Count of Monte Cristo', completed in 1844.
From 1580 to 1871, the castle housed a State jail.
The castle consists in a square structure, 28 meters long on each side, flanked of three cylinder-shaped towers on northwest (Saint-Christophe tower, the highest), northeast (Saint-Jaume tower) and southeast (Maugouvert tower). A fourth tower was planned on the southwest corner but was never built.
Erected on a 3-hectare islet facing Marseille, the castle was originally built as a fortress to protect the city from sea attacks.
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