Facts About Monaco
Monaco, or the Principality of Monaco, is a city state on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is located on the southern coast of France near the Italian border. As such it is a very small city which is ruled by the 'House of Grimaldi'. The family has been ruling the city since 1297 AD and continues to do so. Being so small, it is obvious that the city state has no defence forces of its own and relies on France to bear the responsibility of it defence. The size of the country also makes it the world's second smallest country; second only to the Vatican City. The country may be small, but it is big among those who love to spend lots of money. It is well known for its Monte-Carlo casinos, car races and the beaches. All of which have been designed to cater to the rich tourists who are known to frequent the city state often.
Interesting & Fun Facts About Monaco
- Monaco was founded in 1215 as a colony of Genoa.
- Monaco was named after a Phocaean Greek colony, Monoikos; which roughly translates to “Single House”.
- Since the year 1297 it has been ruled by the members of the House of Grimaldi.
- Francesco Grimaldi was the one who captured the fort that was protecting the Rock of Monaco.
- When he captured the fort he was dressed as a monk. The interesting thing is that the Italian word for a monk is also Monaco.
- The Grimaldi family lost their claim as rulers of Monaco in 1793 when the French captured Monaco and ruled it till 1814.
- At the end of the French occupation, Monaco was declared a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia. The decision was made by the Congress of Vienna and Monaco remained so from 1815 to 1860.
- When the Treaty of Turin was executed, Sardinia became a part of France and the cities of Menton and Roquebrune declared their independence, hoping to become a part of Sardinia.
- Monaco’s sovereignty was formally recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861 and the Grimaldi family continued to rule over Monaco.
- Monegasque Revolution of 1910 forced Moncao to adopt a constitution which was done in 1911.
- In 1943 Monaco came under Fascist rule as Mussolini invaded and took over.
- After the fall of Mussolini it was the Nazi’s who took control of Monaco.
- It was during the Nazi control that René Blum, the founder of the Ballet de l'Opera in Monte Carlo, was arrested, sent to Auschwitz and killed.
- A new constitution in 1962 abolished the capital punishment and established the Supreme Court of Monaco.
- In 1993, the Principality of Monaco became a member of the United Nations, with full voting rights
- The total area of Monaco is only around 2 sq km with a population of 30,586 as of July 2010.
- The official language of Monaco is French but other languages spoken there are English, Italian, and Monegasque.
- The government of Monaco is a constitutional Monarchy and most of the citizens are Christians.
- The city state of Monaco does not levy any tax on personal income making it a haven for the very rich.
- If you go to Monaco you must not miss the Monte Carlo Ballet hosted by the Grimaldi Forum, a series of ballet performances that require men to wear a Jacket and a tie if they wish to see the performance.
- Monaco is also home to Grottes de l'Observatoire, the only cave in Europe where the temperature rises as you go deeper inside it.
- Monaco is also famous as the home of the world famous Monaco Grand Prix.
- For fans of religious art there is the Musée de la Chapelle de la Visitation. A gallery of the works of art produced by people like Rubens, Zurbaran and Ribera.
- For those who like collections of items of historic importance there is the Musée des Souvenirs Napoléoniens et Archives Historiques du Palais. It boasts of a collection of medals, coins, uniforms and swords from the times of Napoleon. They also have his socks.
- For sports enthusiasts there is also Stade Louis II, home of the AS Monaco football team.