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Monte-Cristo's Renaissance and Moorish decoration

The castle | Moonik / CC-BY-SA
Castle Alexandre Dumas Monte-Cristo castle

Near river Seine's banks, in its haven of greenery, here's the castle of Monte-Cristo. Ah, Monte-Cristo... like the novel written by Alexandre Dumas, the famous French writer? Sure! He raised this Renaissance castle in 1844...

Architects Hippolyte Durand and Barthélémy Planté worked based on Dumas plans: this one imagined the lesser corners of his house! So they started to divert rivers, to dig huge foundations...

An amazing place was born! On the ground floor, a terrace with a view on the Seine.

On first floor, there's the Moorish living-room and Dumas' bedroom. On the second floor, a library. The castle cost more than 200 000 francs!

Anyway, on housewarming day, people rushed at Dumas' home, on July 1847: 600 guests came, but only 50 were laid!

In the landscaped garden (2 hectares), look! At the top of a small hill is the château d'If, a place where Dumas found inspiration. Dumas needed this peaceful heaven: everyday, his castle was invaded by friends... worst, by strangers!

Just imagine also, in this park, free animals: Diogène the vulture, Lucullus the pheasant, César the rooster, about 12 cats and dogs, horses Athos, Porthos and Aramis... what a zoo!

But, Dumas get troubles with his creditors. He wrote: Je suis un panier percé, mais ce n'est pas moi qui fait les trous, which means "I am a real spendthrift, but it's not me who make holes."

His furniture was seized in 1848, and Dumas ran away in Belgium at the end of 1851. He came back in 1853... The poor animals moved in the jardin des Plantes, in Paris, and the furniture was sold by auction. That was the end of Monte-Cristo! Fortunately, cities of Port-Marly, Marly-le-Roi and Pecq owned the estate and opened it to the public...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!