Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Office
7 Upper Grosvenor Street
London W1K 2LX
Tel : +44 (0)207 491 4264
Fax : +44 (0)207 408 2487
The sheer Rock of Monaco and its natural harbour have been the source of bitter struggles since earliest antiquity. The Ligurians were the first to make their home there, followed by the Romans and the Barbarians. It wasn't until 1297 that the Genoese Grimaldi family claimed Monaco, beginning a dynasty of Lords and Princes that has lasted over 700 years. After gaining independence in 1489, Monaco was placed under the protection of Spain in 1524, France in 1611, and finally, Sardinia from 1815 to 1860. With the founding of “Monte Carlo” on the Spélugues Plateau in 1866 and the opening of a railway in 1868, the Principality embarked upon a period of great development, becoming an ultra-modern state and playing a key role on the international stage.…
The Principality of Monaco may be one of the smallest countries in Europe, covering only 195 hectares (54 acres), but since 28 May 1993, it has been a fully fledged (183rd) member of the United Nations, and is involved in close to a dozen other specialised institutions. Monaco is also a member of some twenty intergovernmental organisations and around thirty NGOs. Having joined the Council of Europe in 2004, Monaco has since been able to work more closely with its European neighbours.
Monaco, the mythical rock
The Principality of Monaco with its famous Rock lies between France and the Mediterranean. The prestige and fame of this seductive territory surrounded by the French department of Alpes-Maritimes, extends well beyond its borders which Colette once described as being “frontiers of flowers”. Space is limited (202 ha) but the site is enchanting and unfurls along a narrow coastal strip of four kilometres bounded by the mountainous foothills of the "Tête de Chien" and "Mont Agel".
Four districts make up the town:
Monaco-Ville, historic seat of the Principality, located upon the rock where the Prince Palace stands,
Monte-Carlo, the district surrounding its Casino,
La Condamine around Port Hercule,
Fontvieille, the new industrial area built on ground reclaimed from the sea (22ha).