If you're fond of the swashbuckling novels of Alexandre Dumas, you’ll enjoy the Château de Monte-Cristo at Port-Marly on the southern fringe of St-Germain. Dumas built the château after the surging popularity of books like The Count of Monte Cristo made him rich in the 1840s. Construction costs and lavish partying meant he went broke just as quickly, and he skedaddled into a Belgian exile in 1849. You may find the fanciful exterior, where pilasters, cupolas,
and stone carvings compete for attention, crosses the line from opulence to tastelessness, but—as in Dumas’s fiction—swagger, not subtlety, is what counts. Dumas mementos aside, the highlight of the interior is the luxurious Moorish Chamber, with spellbinding, interlacing plasterwork executed by Arab craftsmen (lent by the Bey of Tunis) and restored thanks to a donation from the late Moroccan king Hassan II.
Av. du Président-Kennedy, St-Germain-en-Laye, 78100, France