Castle of Yew
See also: Yew
Before the castleon the island of Yew which stopover in made 1516 the Portuguese nave which convoyait from Lisbon to Rome celebrates it Indian Rhinocéros that Manuel Ier of Portugal offered to the pope Leon X. This animal was indeed the first visible rhinoceros in Europe since year 248. François Ier made displacement with its court to come to see it. Many Marseillais went on the island to admire the animal. After a few weeks on the island, the animal took again its voyage but the ship made shipwreck in the gulf of Genoa. The pope accepted the rhinoceros, but this one had been empaillé, after the discovery of its corpse following the shipwreck.
ConstructionThe building site of the castle of Yew started mid-April 1529, delayed because of the bad weather. The completion date of building site is not known. The first garrison and its governor are in place since 1531. Part of construction materials come from the seat from Marseilles by the Spaniards in September 1524. The bond between the seat of 1524 and the construction of the castle of Yew is not established. The principal asset of the building is its situation in the center of the roads is of Marseilles on the most attended roads of navigation. The castle of Yew is the first royal fortress of Marseilles. The second is Strong Notre-Dame built after 1536 always on the order of François Ier. The construction of a fortress is a political act. It is in the case of registered the castle of Yew in a vaster project of control of the coasts of Provence: Marseilles is in XVIe century " the most beautiful window of the kingdom of France in the Mediterranean of the nord" (Andre Zysberg).
The prisonThe first prisoners of the castle of Yew are locked up in November 1540. They are two Pêcheur S Marseilles. The last are civil prisoners of war in September 1914 (Alsatian and Lorraine). Apart from the cells of the ground floor, in which promiscuity associated with a deplorable hygiene leaves to the prisoners a 9 months life expectancy, it is possible, realizing finance, to rent a cell on the first floor, also called " room passable" or " pistole" (of the name of the currency being used for the payment); more roomy, these cells generally have windows and chimneys. The fortunate prisoners were locked up there.
The most famous prisoners of the castle of Yew (realities and imaginary) are:
- the commander of the Large-Saint-Antoine, Jean-Baptiste Chataud, person in charge of the plague which struck Marseilles in 1720.
- the Marquis de Sade.
- the body of the General Jean-Baptiste Kléber assassinated in Cairo.
- the count de Mirabeau, locked up in 1774 on the request of his/her father.
- Fanny Dillon, wife of the general Bertrand, in March 1815.
- and heroes of the novel of Alexandre Dumas, Edmond Dantès and the Abbot Faria
Republican opponents120 people were imprisoned after the riots of 1848.
A whaleIn 1870, a Baleine of thirteen meters is captured with the accesses of the island. It is then transported to the natural history museum of the Palais Longchamp where its skeleton was exposed until the end of the 20th century.
A headlight and a prison museumThe prison became finally a simple place of Tourisme. Shuttles currently go on the cruise since the Old man-Port. Until 1950, a Guard of headlight and its family still lived on this island.
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