Monday, 5 July 2010

Citadel of lle Sainte Marguerite: Museum, Youth Hostel, and Home of Man in the Iron Mask

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The Citadel of lle Sainte Marguerite located half a mile from the Riviera town of Cannes, France was home to many infamous prisoners over the years. The most illustrious prisoner was the “Man in the Iron Mask”, a captive of Louis XIV, and subject of the Hollywood movie featuring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Duke of Chevreuse, Charles de Lorraine, gained ownership of the fort in 1612 and by the end of the 17th century, the Citadel of lle Sainte Marguerite turned into a state prison and barracks.

The Man in the Iron Mask arrived at the Citadel of lle Sainte Marguerite in1687 and stayed on the island until 1698. He died in 1703 after being moved to the Bastille in Paris. The name of the Man in the Iron Mask was Eustache Dauger , however the story behind Dauger’s identity remains unknown. Rumors suggest that Eustache Dauger was the illegitimate brother of Louis XIV.

The Citadel of lle Sainte Marguerite represents the Alcatraz of the 17th century. In fact, the only prisoner to escape was Marshal Bazaine, later surrendering to the Prussians during the Franco Prussian War. Bazaine was sentenced to 20 years of exile in 1873, and later managed to escape one year later to Italy.

Now home to a youth hostel and museum, the cells still survive including that of the Man in the Iron Mask.

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Citadel of lle Sainte Marguerite Picture Source
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5 comments:

jo oliver said...
6 July 2010 at 20:52  

The man in the iron mask is a very interesting story. I love Voltaires' theory of a brother to the king. I am not sure how much truth is behind it since no one ever saw his face, but still an interesting story.

It is so funny that you mentioned Alcatraz...as that is just what I was thinking as I read the article.

Kate Smedley said...
7 July 2010 at 01:46  

I'd love to go here, there's s much history with it.

thestickman said...
7 July 2010 at 03:53  

-Always had an interest in 'Man in the Iron Mask' and of course, -'that movie' had a lot to do with it.

Richard Wing said...
7 July 2010 at 14:57  

I woul imagine this citadel is probably haunted. Must be a wild place to visit with so much history. I have to say, I've only heard of "The Man in the Iron Mask", from the movie, which I have not watched, shamefully. I'll have to rent the dvd. Interesting French history.

Steve said...
8 July 2010 at 06:42  

That would be a cool place to visit. I'd like to stay in the hostel there too.

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