Principality of Monaco

Guide and main attractions. What to see.

Riviera Travel Guide Cote d'Azur Nice, Monaco, Monte-Carlo

Cote d’Azur Map Nice – Monaco – Monte Carlo Italy

The Principality of Monaco is located in the south of France and is adjacent to its department of Alpes-Maritimes in the north and the Ligurian Sea in the south. Located just 20 km from Nice on the colorful coast. The territory is 195 hectares. The population is mainly French, a little less – the indigenous people – Monegasques and Italians. French is the official language and the euro is the currency. The Principality is world famous for its casinos in Monte Carlo and the Formula 1 racing championship – the Monaco Grand Prix. The most beautiful and luxurious buildings in the country 🙂 are the palace and the casino. When the Grand Opera was being built in Paris, well, it is also the Opera Garnier, then, as always, there was a chronic lack of money. Then the Prince of Monaco added some money to the architect Garnier, but ordered him to build a theater on his territory first. The local main attractions also include: the Botanical Garden, the National Museum (local history), the Maritime Museum, the Cinema Museum (!), the exhibition of vintage cars (collection of His Highness the Prince of Monaco).

Monaco Monte Carlo travel guide, private tours

Monaco and Monte-Carlo on the posr card before World War I

The Principality of Monaco has been in great demand among tourists for over 100 years. On old photo postcards of the early 20th century, this is clearly visible. The residence of the Grimaldi dynasty, which has ruled Monaco for 700 years, was built on the site of a Genoese fortress in 1215. For more than 100 years, the changing of the guard at 11.55 am has been taking place at the main entrance, attracting the attention of tourists. In summer, the carabinieri in historical uniform are dressed in white, in winter – in black.
Photo gallery

State 🙂 Monaco consists of three parts:
– Monaco city (two streets and the prince’s palace)
Monte Carlo (casinos, hotels, gardens and boutiques)
– Fontville (hotels, villas, parks)

History briefly. Even in prehistoric times, primitive people lived on the lands of Monaco. Around 2000 BC in these parts there was a tribe of Ligurians (also called “Minoikos”, which means “lonely” in Greek), who were harsh inhabitants of the mountains. According to legend, it was here that Hercules built the first houses and subsequently the city became known as the “Port of the lonely (temple) of Hercules.” It is also known as the “Ligurian city of Minoikis”. In the 7th – 6th centuries. BC. it has already been mentioned as one of the Greek colonies. From the 2nd century BC. the city was a possession of Rome. At the end of the 5th c. he was part of the so-called. “barbarian” kingdoms that appeared on the site of the former Roman Empire. Then there were repeated raids by Arab pirates, and, in the final, it was captured by Muslims. In 975, the Provencal Count Guillaume expelled them, and as a result, the city came under the rule of the Republic of Genoa. Since 1137, the territory of Monaco was under the control of the Ligurian consul Otto Capella, the father of Grimaldo, who was officially considered the ancestor of the Grimaldi family. The German emperor Henry VI in 1191 finally recognized the entire coast (up to the territory of modern Monaco) as the possession of Genoa. On June 10, 1215, the Ghibellines (supporters of the German emperor), led by Fulco del Casello, began building a castle with 4 towers on the site where the prince’s palace now stands. For the next 300 years, the Monegasque land served as an arena for armed struggle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. In January 1297, one of the descendants of Grimaldo, Francesco Grimaldi, known as the “Evil One”, when disguised as a Franciscan monk (in Italian “monaco”), with the help of cunning, captured the fortress covering the Rock of Monaco. However, all this was just a coincidence, because the region was already known by this name. A few years later, Francesco was expelled from Monaco by Genoese troops, and the struggle for the Rock continued into the next century. The Grimaldi family was Genoese and the struggle was for a family feud. The Genoese took part in other other conflicts, including the war of the Kingdom of Aragon for Corsica. Eventually it became part of Spain. In the 14th – 18th centuries. Monaco repeatedly passed from hand to hand, then France, then Spain, then again France.
In 1419 the Grimaldi family bought Monaco from the Kingdom of Aragon and its members became the official and undisputed rulers of the Rock of Monaco.
In 1612, Honore II took the title of “seigneur and prince of Monaco.” Since 1619, the Monegasque monarch was called a prince. On September 14, 1641, under the threat of the Spanish troops, an agreement was signed in Perron with France, according to which the Principality of Monaco came under its protectorate.

World War I. In July 1918, the Franco-Monegasque Treaty was signed, limiting the French protectorate over Monaco. It was confirmed by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and determined that the international policy of Monaco should be in solidarity with French political, military and economic interests. All these events were resolved by the Monegasque succession crisis.

World War II. In November 1942, the Italian army invaded and occupied Monaco, setting up a Fascist administration. Soon came the collapse of the regime of B. Mussolini and the territory of Monaco was occupied by German troops. After August 1944, the Allies liberated Monaco.
In 1949, Prince Louis II died and the throne passed to his grandson Rainier III, who launched large-scale construction with the support of the billionaire Onassis. On April 19, Rainier married American actress Grace Kelly, which attracted the media from all over the world to this event.
In 1993, the Principality of Monaco became a full member of the UN with the right to veto.
On October 24, 2002, a new treaty between France and Monaco was signed, confirming the sovereignty of the principality, but clarifying a number of provisions in cooperation with the government of the French Republic. In the same year, Monaco’s constitution was revised in favor of the National Council.
On March 31, 2005, the dying Prince Rainier transferred all his rights to his son Albert II, who was crowned on July 12 of the same year. On July 1-2, the wedding and wedding of Prince Albert and ex-athlete from South Africa Charlene Wittstock took place, who these days were wearing a wedding dress from Giorgio Armani and the dress uniform of a Carabinieri officer.
– Armed forces

The main attractions of Monaco
As for the sights, the most famous are: the Palace of the Prince of Monaco, the museum (collection) of vintage cars of His Serene Highness Prince Rainier III of Monaco, the Oceanographic Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Museum of Postage Stamps and Coins, the New National Museum, the National Puppet Museum, the Museum of Old Monaco, Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology, Museum of the National Committee of Monegasque Traditions, Garden of Exotics, Monte Carlo Casino, etc.
Antique Car Museum. The Rainier III old car museum stores more than 100 cars for various purposes, including 6 carriages of the princely family, military and special cars, ceremonial cars of the Grimaldi family. It has cars of various well-known brands and modifications, such as Mercedes, Rolls-Royce, Packard, Humber, Lincoln, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari, Lamberghini, Hispano Suise, Delage, De Dion Bouton, Delae, Napier, etc. In 2012, Albert II auctioned 38 cars, including the 1913 Panhard Roadster and Levassor X-19 for 81,300 euros, the 1883 Mercedes-Benz (the last car of his father) for 117,500 euros, etc. The museum also houses Albert’s wedding car, a hand-built Lexus LS 600 Nandolet L.

– Museum of postage stamps and coins.

– New National Museum.
The Museum of Old Monaco was founded in 1924 on the initiative of the oldest families of the Principality to preserve the historical traditions, heritage and identity of Monaco. It contains household items, furniture, handicrafts, costumes and other life items of previous eras.

– Oceanographic Museum


Practical information.
Airport. The nearest and most convenient airport is Nice. There are direct flights from Paris (Charles de Gaulle, Beauvais, Orly), from New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Toronto and Sydney, and other cities.

Sightseeing tours from Nice and Cannes. The Union of Taxi Drivers in Paris and Nice offers private guided tours from Nice, Cannes or any resort on the Côte d’Azur with a visit to Monaco and Monte Carlo or to San Remo. Details, description and prices.

On old photo postcards: