- Accession to the Council of Europe : 2004
- Surface Area : 2 km²
- Population : 38 000 inhabitants (2012)
- Capital : Monaco
- Official languages : French
- Predominant religions : Catholic (Apostolic and Roman)
- Government type : Constitutional Monarchy
- Head of state : HSH Prince Albert II
- Head of government: Serge Telle, Principality Minister of State since Jan 2016
- Currency : Euro
- International code : +377
- National holiday : November 19
Fontvieille © Monaco press service
- 1297 : Capture of fortified castle and occupation of the “Rocher” in Monaco by François Grimaldi.
- 1342 : Charles Grimaldi became Seigniory of Monaco.
- 1489 : Recognition of independence of Monaco.
- 1612 : Honore II became Prince.
- 1848 : Menton and Roquebrune declare themselves “free cities” and are placed under the protection of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
- 1856 : Creation of the Bathing Union and Casino.
- 1861 : Menton and Roquebrune are annexed by France.
- 1865 : The French and Monegasque territories create a custom union.
- 1911 : The Prince Albert enacts the first Monegasque constitution.
- 1949 : Prince Rainier III takes the throne.
- 1962 : Enactment of a new Monegasque constitution.
- 1993 : Monaco becomes the 183th permanent member of United Nations.
- 1997 : 700th anniversary of the Grimaldi dynasty.
- 2001 : A monetary convention between Monaco and the government of the French Republic (representing the European Community) is signed, Monaco adopts the Euro as its currency.
- 2002 : Introduction of the Euro.
- 2004 : Accession to the Council of Europe.
- 12 juillet 2005 : Prince Albert II takes the throne after the death of his father, Prince Rainier III.
Monte-Carlo is the most famous district in Monaco. By losing Menton and Roquebrune, the Principality lost three quarters of its territory and its resources. To make up for this loss, Prince Charles III took advantage of the ban on gambling establishments in the neighboring France and Italy, and created the Société des Bains de Monaco – which later became the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) and the Cercle des Etrangers. Moreover, he allowed the opening of a casino on the set of Spélugues. Unfortunatley, all of the dealers kept going bankrupt.
Businessman Louis Blanc changed the future of the region, which was still a modest piece of land where olive and lemon trees grew nearby the SBM. He bought the SBM in 1863. His fortune and his talent did the rest: he succeeded where others had failed and made the territory a destination for luxury and refinement. Hotels, villas, gardens were quickly built, and the success was dazzling. The region was renamed “Monte Carlo” (Mount Charles), after the name of the reigning prince, by a Sovereign Order on June 1st, 1866.
Yet Blanc’s ambitions for the land did not stop there : Blanc wanted Monte-Carlo to become an artistic destination. He called for the construction of a new casino by the famous French architect Charles Garnier, as well as an opera house. Since then, Monte-Carlo has become legendary.
Although Monte Carlo, also known as the Golden Square, allows Monaco to enjoy an international reputation, it would be wrong to assume that the Principality lives only on the profits of the SMB, which generates only about 4% of the State’s GDP.
Picture : international circus festival of Monte-Carlo
© 2008 Monte-Carlo Multimédia Monaco
© Monaco press service
Major events with international impact take place in Monaco, such as the Grand Prix of Formula 1, the Monaco Yacht Show, the International Circus Festival, and the Rose Ball, which all attract many tourists each year.
Prince Albert I
After participating in the war between France and Germany in 1870, for which he obtained the Légion d’honneur, Prince Albert I, took charge of Monaco between 1889 and 1922. He was truly an activist for peace. At the beginning of 20th century, he founded the International Institute of Peace to help arbitrate conflicts. This institution was the forerunner of the international organizations which would be created after WW1.
© Monaco press service
A rare language
Source of text: © Monaco press service