MONACO

Date of establishment: 1861

Brief history:

1297: François Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, captured the fortress of Monaco, marking the beginning of the rule of the Grimaldi dynasty over Monaco. This event is the foundation of the present-day principality.

1419: The Grimaldi family purchased Monaco from the Genoese, officially establishing their rule over the territory.

1641: The Treaty of Péronne established Monaco as a protectorate of France, ensuring its independence from Spanish control.

1793-1814: Monaco was annexed by France during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic period.

1815: After the fall of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna restored the Grimaldi family to power, and Monaco was placed under the protection of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

1861: The Franco-Monegasque Treaty was signed, recognizing Monaco’s sovereignty in exchange for ceding the towns of Menton and Roquebrune to France. This treaty also led to the economic revitalization of Monaco, partly through the establishment of the Monte Carlo Casino by Prince Charles III.

1911: Prince Albert I established Monaco’s first constitution, creating a constitutional monarchy and formalizing the state’s institutions and governance.

1949: Prince Rainier III ascended the throne, beginning a period of modernization and economic development for Monaco.

1956: Prince Rainier III married American actress Grace Kelly, bringing international attention and glamour to the principality.

1993: Monaco was admitted to the United Nations as a full member, enhancing its international recognition and sovereignty.

2005: Prince Rainier III passed away, and his son, Prince Albert II, became the reigning monarch of Monaco.

2011: Prince Albert II married Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimmer from South Africa, who became the Princess of Monaco.

2014: Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene welcomed their twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, securing the line of succession.

 

International abbreviation: MC

 

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Monaco is part of the Eurozone, making the euro its official currency. The euro replaced the French franc as the currency in Monaco when France adopted the euro as its national currency.

 

Internet domain: .mc

 

Dialing code: +377

 

Time zone: +1 GMT

 

Geography:

Monaco, officially known as the Principality of Monaco, is a small sovereign state located on the southeastern coast of France in the Mediterranean Sea. With a total area of about 2.02 km² (0.8 square miles), Monaco ranks among the smallest countries in the world. This small territory is on the Mediterranean Sea and shares its only border with France on the western side.

The geography of Monaco is characterized by steep slopes and mountainous terrain. The coastal area is rugged and offers dramatic elevation differences between the sea and mountain peaks.

 

Highest peak: Mont Agel 140 m (459 feet) above sea level

This hill is located on the border between Monaco and France and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean and the surrounding landscape. Although Mont Agel is relatively low, it is the highest point within the small state of Monaco.

 

Climate:

Monaco experiences warm and sunny summers with average temperatures around 20-27°C (68-81°F). Winters are mild and humid with average temperatures around 8-14°C (46-57°F). Spring and autumn are pleasant periods with temperatures around 15-21°C (59-70°F). Overall, Monaco has a typical Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters, attracting visitors throughout the year.

 

Flora and fauna:

The original vegetation of Monaco was typical of Mediterranean regions, characterized by drought-resistant species such as shrubs, dry grasses, and olive trees. Pine and cypress trees can also be found to a lesser extent. However, within the city, gardens, parks, and ornamental plants are predominant, beautifying Monaco and enhancing the city’s aesthetic.

Monaco is not primarily known for its wild nature. Nevertheless, some animal species are present. The most common include various types of birds, such as pigeons, magpies, seagulls, and other waterfowl. Due to its maritime location, various fish and other marine life, including species such as sea bream, mullet, and octopus, can be spotted in the waters surrounding Monaco.

 

Agriculture:

Monaco is a very small state with limited agricultural possibilities. Given its small size and dense population, agriculture is not a major part of its economy. The land is limited, and most of the territory is used for urban and construction purposes, leaving little room for agricultural activities.

 

Natural resource extraction: –

 

Industry:

Monaco is known as a financial center with low tax rates and favorable conditions for banking and investments. Its banking sector provides various services, such as asset management, banking accounts, investments, and tax optimization for both foreign and domestic clients.

The country’s picturesque location on the Mediterranean coast contributes to a thriving tourism industry. Luxury hotels, casinos, exclusive restaurants, and cultural events attract tourists and visitors from all over the world. The Monte Carlo Casino and the annual Monaco Grand Prix are particularly significant draws.

Monaco is also renowned for its luxurious properties and stunning architecture, making real estate a significant sector. The principality’s construction and real estate industry is buoyed by high demand for residential and commercial properties.

Additionally, Monaco has a small but noteworthy manufacturing sector, specializing in high-value-added products such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and precision instruments.

The yachting industry is also significant, with Monaco serving as a major hub for yachting activities in the Mediterranean, including yacht sales, maintenance, and hosting prestigious yacht shows.

 

Services and other economic areas: banking, insurance, services, tourism, gambling, and maritime transport

 

Natural and historical attractions: Monaco-Ville (the old town), Monte Carlo, Larvotto Beach, the Prince’s Palace, the Oceanographic Museum, the Monte Carlo Casino, city gardens, and the Port of Hercules

One of the main tourist attractions in Monaco is its casinos. The famous Casino de Monte-Carlo is a symbol of elegance and glamour, attracting gamblers who seek exciting nightlife and gambling opportunities. Monte Carlo also hosts the renowned Monaco Grand Prix, another major draw for motorsports enthusiasts.

The Prince’s Palace, serving as the residence of the Prince of Monaco, is another popular tourist attraction. Visitors can witness the changing of the guard and explore the beautiful interiors of the palace. Monaco also has a range of museums, art galleries, and cultural landmarks reflecting its rich history and culture. Notable museums include the Oceanographic Museum, known for its extensive marine life exhibits, and the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, which showcases contemporary art.

The Exotic Garden (Jardin Exotique) offers breathtaking views of Monaco and the Mediterranean Sea and showcases a wealth of exotic plants and flowers. Tourists go there to relax and admire the beauty of the garden.

Additionally, Monaco-Ville, also known as “Le Rocher” or “The Rock,” is the historical and cultural heart of the principality, featuring narrow streets, Monaco Cathedral, and the Saint-Martin Gardens.

Monaco’s beautiful beaches, particularly Larvotto Beach, provide opportunities for relaxation and water sports, further enhancing the principality’s appeal as a tourist destination.

 

 

Form of government: Constitutional monarchy

Monaco is a constitutional monarchy with a hereditary monarch, where the title of prince is passed down through the Grimaldi family. The current sovereign is Prince Albert II, who symbolizes the state’s unity and continuity.

The executive power is held by the prince, who appoints the minister of state and the council of government. The minister of state is the head of government and is usually a French national appointed by the prince from candidates proposed by the French government. The council of government consists of four government counselors, each overseeing specific areas of administration.

The legislative power is vested in the National Council (Conseil National), which is composed of 24 members elected by the people for a five-year term. The National Council enacts laws and makes decisions on key matters. It also works alongside the prince and the government to approve the budget and pass legislation.

Monaco’s judicial system is independent and operates under the constitution of Monaco and the laws of the country. The highest judicial authority is the Supreme Court (Tribunal Suprême), which ensures that laws and acts of the government conform to the constitution and also handles administrative and constitutional disputes.

In addition to the National Council, there is the Communal Council, which is responsible for local administration in Monaco. This body oversees municipal services and public facilities within the principality.

 

Capital city: Monaco

Monaco is also the only city in the country. Monaco is the name for the entire country, representing one city.

 

Area: 2.02 km² (0.8 square miles)

 

Population: 36 500 (2022 estimate)

Monaco has a very high population density, meaning that a relatively large number of people live in a small area. The reason behind this is the attractive environment, low taxes, thriving economy, and luxurious lifestyle that attract wealthy residents from all over the world.

The population of Monaco is highly international and multicultural. The city hosts many expatriates who came for work or investment, resulting in a diverse array of nationalities and cultures.

The official language is French, but due to the international character of the city, there are also many English-speaking residents and speakers of other languages.

 

UNESCO World Heritage sites: –

 

National parks: –