/ / The island of Montecristo: photos, description (Isola di Montecristo)

The island of Montecristo: photos, description (Isola di Montecristo)

Montecristo is an island in the Tyrrhenian sea, part of the national Park "Tuscan archipelago". Previously known as a Loss. Administratively belongs to the municipality of Portoferraio in the province of Livorno. The island has an area of 10.39 sq. km. and stretches for 4 km in width and 3.4 km in length. The length of the coastline is 16 km away. the World-famous Isle received after the novel by Alexander Dumas "the Count of Monte Cristo".

The history of colonization of the island begins in the era of the iron age. The ancient Greeks gave it the name of the Loss (or Akrasia) for the yellowish color of its rocks, and the Romans knew the island as of Mon Jovis - that they are on the highest top of the island erected an altar in honor of the God Jupiter. From the altar to the present day preserved some traces. The Romans founded several quarries for the extraction of granite and the subsequent construction of villas on the Islands of Giglio, Elba and Giannutri.

In the middle of the 5th century caves of the island became a refuge for many hermits who fled from the mainland from vandals. They became known as Mont Christie, from which its modern name. In the 7th century there was built the monastery of San Mamiliano, and in the cave where he once hid the Holy Mamilian has a chapel in his name. In the 13th century, the monastery reached its heyday and was famous for riches and power, and gave rise to legends about hidden treasure island. But in 1533, the year of the Ottoman pirate Dredge on their way to the Elbe, and laid siege to the island, destroyed the monastery and drove the monks into slavery. After this Montecristo for a long time became a desert. Only in the 1840s, the years, there have been new attempts to colonize and settle the island. In 1852, the year the island was bought by the rich Englishman, George Watson-Taylor, who transformed the Bay of Cala Maestro in the Botanical garden, planted here the eucalyptus trees and other exotic plants. To this period also belongs the construction of some buildings, such as Villa Reale. Later the island was bought by the Italian government, founded in 1878, the year a penal colony. At the end of the 19th century, Monte Cristo was turned into Royal hunting grounds, and the Prince Victor Emmanuel III spent his honeymoon here.

Today on the island of Montecristo is home to only two permanent residents, both are caretakers of the nature reserve Isola di Monte Cristo", founded in 1971, the year. The reserve is part of the national Park "Tuscan archipelago". On the island you can not stay overnight, banned fishing, swimming and surfing within 1 km from the coast. Visit Montecristo can only 1000 people a year, and the waiting list is so long that their turn to wait up to three years. Trapped on the island, tourists can visit Villa Reale, Botanical garden, natural history Museum, the monastery of San Mamiliano, a cave in which lived a Saint, the ruins of the chapel of Santa Maria and the castle of Monte Cristo, located at the top of the Monte della Fortezza (645 m).