The tiny island of If is located just off the southern tip of France. A fortress complex became famous due to The Count of Monte Cristo novel by Alexandre Dumas, and even though it is a work of fiction, the fortress attracts many visitors.
Built in the in the mid-1500s the fortress was originally supposed to serve as coastal defence position. By the 1800s, the place was transformed into a prison on an island. It has seen murderers as well as political prisoners during its history.
The prison was shortly closed and reopened to the public as a landmark in 1890. One of the former cells has been chosen as the one where the Count was held despite the character being fictional and never existed.
The castle is open year round except for January 1 and December 25. Opening hours differ depending on the season from 10 am to 5 pm or 6 pm.