It’s time to try something new while in France. We suggest paying a visit to famous Afro-French writer Alexandre Dumas’ House. Yes, we know that France has a lot of tourist attractions like the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées and so on. But, visiting the house where Dumas used to live is a way to learn about the man who changed French literature.
Also known as Château de Monte-Cristo, the Afro-French author’s house is a charming castle located on Port-Marly hill, between Marly-le-Roi and Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
The house was built in 1846 by architect Hippolyte Durand. Dumas named the château after one of his most successful novels: The Count of Monte Cristo.
When you visit Alexandre Dumas’ house, you can walk around the beautiful garden and even check out the occasional art exhibitions. The cost to enter the Château is $8.
Alexandre Dumas’ Life
Born in Villers-Cotterêts, France in 1802, Dumas was the son of General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, one of the highest-ranking men of African descent to lead a European army. Dumas’s paternal grandparents were a French nobleman and an enslaved Haitian woman.
Because his family was of his noble blood, he was able to begin working under the Duke of Orleans at the age of fourteen. While employed by the Duke, he began writing for various magazines and writing plays. At his younger age, he decided to take on his grandmother’s name, Dumas.
By the early 1850s, Alexandre Dumas had become not only the famous novelist but, arguably, the most famous Frenchman in the world. Thanks to The Three Musketeers (1844) and The Count of Monte Cristo (1846), Dumas was considered a celebrity in Europe and even in the United States. At this point, garlanded with international fame, he quickly spent his riches, leading to face severe financial problems. In December 1870, Dumas died at the age of 68 of natural causes.
As of this day, there have been hundreds of film adaptations, TV shows, video games and operas of his works.
If you visit Château de Monte-Cristo, you are also visiting a part of Black history in France.