Lifestyle

The whimsical design of the Castle of Monte Cristo in Port-Marly

The whimsical design of the Castle of Monte Cristo in Port-Marly

In the hills of Port-Marly, in the French department of Yvelines, the Castle of Monte Cristo embodies the imagination of Alexandre Dumas, the author of « The Three Musketeers ».

The novelist Alexandre Dumas had this whimsical, highly imaginative, and Renaissance-style home, along with a nearby Gothic-style detached house, built in 1846. This architectural wonder overlooking the Seine Valley helped him find inspiration far from the hustle and bustle of Paris in an estate that reflected his own personality. The property is surrounded by an English-style garden set off by grottos, rocks, and water falls.

Port-Marly, home of the Castle of Monte Cristo

Romantic and narcissistic details abound, from plaques on the facades engraved with the titles of the author’s works to floral decorations and cherubs scattered throughout the design. The building was spared from demolition at the last minute in the 1960s, then transformed into a museum honouring the successful author of « The Countess of Monsoreau », « The Count of Monte Cristo », and « Queen Margot ».

The Castle of Monte-Christo - The Castle of If
It is in this detached house, located on an island, that Alexandre Dumas kept a small office where he wrote his masterpieces. © DR
The Castle of Monte-Christo reception room
If this reception room could talk, it would tell stories about the raucous parties the novelist held here. © DR

A tour with an exotic flair

Start your visit to this earthly paradise by exploring the exhibition about the site. It provides insight into an author who continues to influence the literary industry, his theatrical works, the living room where he hosted the who’s-who of Paris, and the Mauresque Room. The decorations in this stunning room are made of sculptures and arabesques that have been meticulously carved into the stucco.

The Castle of Monte-Christo Moorish living room
This room was created by Tunisian artisans who worked for the Bey of Tunis, whom the writer brought back from his travels. © DR

A theatrical life within castle walls