Principality of Monaco

Principauté de Monaco (French)
Principatu de Mùnegu (Ligurian)[a]
Motto: "Deo Juvante" (Latin)
(English: "With God's Help")
Anthem: "Hymne Monégasque"
(English: "Hymn of Monaco")
Location of Monaco (green) in Europe (green & dark grey)
Location of Monaco (green)

in Europe (green & dark grey)

CapitalMonaco (city-state)[a][1][2]
43°44′N 7°25′E / 43°44′N 7°25′E / 43.733; 7.417
Largest QuartierMonte Carlo
Official languagesFrench[3]
Common languages
Ethnic groups
Roman Catholicism (official)[4]
  • Monégasque
  • Monacan[c]
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Albert II
Serge Telle
LegislatureNational Council
• House of Grimaldi (under the sovereignty of the Republic of Genoa)
• from the French Empire
17 May 1814
• from occupation of the Sixth Coalition
17 June 1814
• Total
2.2 km2 (0.85 sq mi) (194th)
• Water (%)
• 2015 estimate
38,400[6] (217th)
• 2016 census
• Density
18,713/km2 (48,466.4/sq mi) (1st)
GDP (nominal)2016[b] estimate
• Total
US$6.5 billion[7] (148th)
• Per capita
US$168,000[8] (1st)
CurrencyEuro () (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideright[9]
Calling code+377
ISO 3166 codeMC
  1. ^ Government offices are however, located in the Quartier of Monaco-Ville.
  2. ^ GDP per capita calculations include non-resident workers from France and Italy.
  3. ^ Monacan is the term for residents.

Monaco (/ (About this soundlisten); French pronunciation: ​[mɔnako]), officially the Principality of Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco),[a] is a sovereign city-state, country, and microstate on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco is about 15 km from the state border with Italy.[10]

Monaco has an area of 2.020 km2 (0.780 sq mi), making it the second-smallest country in the world after the Vatican. Its population was about 38,400 based on the last census of 2016.[6] With 19,009 inhabitants per km², it is the most densely-populated sovereign state in the world. Monaco has a land border of 5.47 km (3.40 mi),[6] a coastline of 3.83 km (2.38 mi), and a width that varies between 1,700 and 349 m (5,577 and 1,145 ft). The highest point in the country is a narrow pathway named Chemin des Révoires on the slopes of Mont Agel, in the Les Révoires Ward, which is 161 metres (528 feet) above sea level. Monaco's most populous Quartier is Monte Carlo and the most populous Ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins. Through land reclamation, Monaco's land mass has expanded by 20 percent; in 2005, it had an area of only 1.974 km2 (0.762 sq mi). Monaco is known to be the most expensive and the wealthiest place on Earth, Vatican City excluded, due to its tax laws. In 2014, it was noted that about 30% of the population was made up of millionaires.[11]

Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. Although Prince Albert II is a constitutional monarch, he wields immense political power. The House of Grimaldi has ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, since 1297.[12] The official language is French, but Monégasque, Italian, and English are widely spoken and understood.[b] The state's sovereignty was officially recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861, with Monaco becoming a full United Nations voting member in 1993. Despite Monaco's independence and separate foreign policy, its defense is the responsibility of France. However, Monaco does maintain two small military units.

Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with the opening of the country's first casino, Monte Carlo, and a railway connection to Paris.[13] Since then, Monaco's mild climate, scenery, and gambling facilities have contributed to the principality's status as a tourist destination and recreation centre for the rich. In more recent years, Monaco has become a major banking centre and has sought to diversify its economy into the services sector and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries. The state has no income tax, low business taxes, and is well known for being a tax haven. It is also the host of the annual street circuit motor race Monaco Grand Prix, one of the original Grands Prix of Formula One. The principality has a club football team, AS Monaco, who have become French champions on multiple occasions.

Monaco is not formally a part of the European Union (EU), but it participates in certain EU policies, including customs and border controls. Through its relationship with France, Monaco uses the euro as its sole currency (prior to this it used the Monégasque franc). Monaco joined the Council of Europe in 2004. It is a member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).


Monaco in Roman Liguria in Italy, 1st century BC

Monaco's name comes from the nearby 6th-century BC Phocaean Greek colony. Referred to by the Ligurians as Monoikos, from the Greek "μόνοικος", "single house", from "μόνος" (monos) "alone, single"[14] + "οἶκος" (oikos) "house",[15] which bears the sense of a people either settled in a "single habitation" or of "living apart" from others. According to an ancient myth, Hercules passed through the Monaco area and turned away the previous gods.[16] As a result, a temple was constructed there, the temple of Hercules Monoikos. Because the only temple of this area was the "House" of Hercules, the city was called Monoikos.[17][18] It ended up in the hands of the Holy Roman Empire, which gave it to the Genoese. An ousted branch of a Genoese family, the Grimaldi, contested it for a hundred years before actually gaining control. Though the Republic of Genoa would last until the 19th century, they allowed the Grimaldi family to keep Monaco, and, likewise, both France and Spain left it alone for hundreds of years. France did not annex it until the French Revolution, but after the defeat of Napoleon it was put under the care of the Kingdom of Sardinia. In the 19th century, when Sardinia became a part of Italy, the region came under French influence again but France allowed it to remain independent. Like France, Monaco was overrun by the Axis powers during the Second World War and for a short time was administered by Italy, then the Third Reich, before finally being liberated. Although the occupation lasted for just a short time, it meant the deportation of the Jewish population and execution of several resistance members from Monaco. Since then Monaco has been independent. It has taken some steps towards integration with the European Union.

Arrival of the Grimaldi family

Statue of Francesco Grimaldi depicting the moment of the Rock of Monaco conquest.
Rainier I of Grimaldi, victor of the naval battle at Zierikzee and first sovereign Grimaldi ruler of Monaco

Following a land grant from Emperor Henry VI in 1191, Monaco was refounded in 1215 as a colony of Genoa.[19][20] Monaco was first ruled by a member of the House of Grimaldi in 1297, when Francesco Grimaldi, known as "Il Malizia" (translated from Italian either as "The Malicious One" or "The Cunning One"), and his men captured the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco while dressed as Franciscan monks—a monaco in Italian, although this is a coincidence as the area was already known by this name.[21] Francesco, however, was evicted only a few years afterwards by the Genoese forces, and the struggle over "the Rock" continued for another century.[22] The Grimaldi family was Genoese and the struggle was something of a family feud. However, the Genoese became engaged in other conflicts, and in the late 1300s Genoa became involved in a conflict with the Crown of Aragon over Corsica.[23] The Crown of Aragon eventually became a part of Spain through marriage (see modern day Aragon) and other parts drifted into various pieces of other kingdoms and nations.[23]


Monaco in 1494

In 1419, the Grimaldi family purchased Monaco from the Crown of Aragon and became the official and undisputed rulers of "the Rock of Monaco". In 1612 Honoré II began to style himself "Prince" of Monaco.[24] In the 1630s, he sought French protection against the Spanish forces and, in 1642, was received at the court of Louis XIII "Duc et Pair Etranger".[25] The princes of Monaco thus became vassals of the French kings while at the same time remaining sovereign princes.[26] Though successive princes and their families spent most of their lives in Paris, and intermarried with French and Italian nobilities, the House of Grimaldi is Italian. The principality continued its existence as a protectorate of France until the French Revolution.[27]

In 1793, Revolutionary forces captured Monaco and it remained under direct French control until 1814, when the Grimaldi family returned to the throne.[25][28]

19th century

French annexation in 1860

Between 1793 and 1814 Monaco was occupied by the French (in this period much of Europe had been overrun by the French under command of Napoleon).[25][28] The principality was reestablished in 1814 only to be designated a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia by the Congress of Vienna in 1815.[28] Monaco remained in this position until 1860 when, by the Treaty of Turin, the Sardinian forces pulled out of the principality and the surrounding county of Nice (as well as Savoy) was ceded to France.[29] Monaco became a French protectorate once again. Before this time there was unrest in Menton and Roquebrune, where the townspeople had become weary of heavy taxation by the Grimaldi family. They declared their independence, hoping for annexation by Sardinia. France protested. The unrest continued until Charles III of Monaco gave up his claim to the two mainland towns (some 95% of the principality at the time) that had been ruled by the Grimaldi family for over 500 years.[30] These were ceded to France in return for 4,100,000 francs.[31] The transfer and Monaco's sovereignty were recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. In 1869, the principality stopped collecting income tax from its residents—an indulgence the Grimaldi family could afford to entertain thanks solely to the extraordinary success of the casino.[32] This made Monaco not only a playground for the rich, but a favored place for them to live.[33]

20th century

Mayor of Monaco announcing concessions ending absolute monarchy of Prince Albert I in 1910

Until the Monegasque Revolution of 1910 forced the adoption of the 1911 constitution, the princes of Monaco were absolute rulers.[34] The new constitution, however, barely reduced the autocratic rule of the Grimaldi family and Prince Albert I soon suspended it during the First World War.

In July 1918, the Franco-Monegasque Treaty was signed, providing for limited French protection over Monaco. The treaty, endorsed in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles, established that Monegasque international policy would be aligned with French political, military, and economic interests, and resolved the Monaco Succession Crisis.[35]

The marriage of the actress Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier III brought media attention to the principality.

In 1943, the Italian Army invaded and occupied Monaco, forming a fascist administration.[36] Shortly thereafter, following the collapse of Mussolini, the German Wehrmacht occupied Monaco and the Nazi deportation of the Jewish population began. René Blum, the prominent French Jew who founded the Ballet de l'Opera in Monte Carlo, was arrested in his Paris home and held in the Drancy deportation camp outside the French capital before being transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was later killed.[37] Blum's colleague Raoul Gunsbourg, the director of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, helped by the French Resistance, escaped arrest and fled to Switzerland.[38] In August 1944, the Germans executed René Borghini, Joseph-Henri Lajoux and Esther Poggio, who were Resistance leaders.

Rainier III, who ruled until 2005, succeeded to the throne following the death of his grandfather, Prince Louis II, in 1949. On 19 April 1956, Prince Rainier married the American actress Grace Kelly; the event was widely televised and covered in the popular press, focusing the world's attention on the tiny principality.[39]

A 1962 amendment to the constitution abolished capital punishment, provided for women's suffrage, and established a Supreme Court of Monaco to guarantee fundamental liberties.

In 1963, a crisis developed when Charles de Gaulle blockaded Monaco, angered by its status as a tax haven for wealthy French. The 2014 film Grace of Monaco is loosely based on this crisis.[40]

In 1993, the Principality of Monaco became a member of the United Nations, with full voting rights.[29][41]

21st century

View of Monaco in 2016

In 2002, a new treaty between France and Monaco specified that, should there be no heirs to carry on the Grimaldi dynasty, the principality would still remain an independent nation rather than revert to France. Monaco's military defence, however, is still the responsibility of France.[42][43]

On 31 March 2005, Rainier III, who was too ill to exercise his duties, relinquished them to his only son and heir, Albert.[44] He died six days later, after a reign of 56 years, with his son succeeding him as Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco.

Following a period of official mourning, Prince Albert II formally assumed the princely crown on 12 July 2005,[45] in a celebration that began with a solemn Mass at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, where his father had been buried three months earlier. His accession to the Monégasque throne was a two-step event with a further ceremony, drawing heads of state for an elaborate reception, held on 18 November 2005, at the historic Prince's Palace in Monaco-Ville.[46]

On 27 August 2015, Albert II apologized for Monaco's role during World War II in facilitating the deportation of a total of 90 Jews and resistance fighters, of whom only nine survived. "We committed the irreparable in handing over to the neighbouring authorities women, men and a child who had taken refuge with us to escape the persecutions they had suffered in France," Albert said at a ceremony in which a monument to the victims was unveiled at the Monaco cemetery. "In distress, they came specifically to take shelter with us, thinking they would find neutrality."[47]

In 2015, Monaco unanimously approved a modest land reclamation expansion intended primarily for some desperately needed housing and a small green/park area.[48] Monaco had previously considered an expansion in 2008, but called it off.[48] The plan is for about six hectares of apartment buildings, parks, shops and offices for about 1 billion euros for the land.[49] The development will be adjacent to the Larvotto district and also will include a small marina.[49][50] There were four main proposals, and the final mix of use will be finalised as the development progresses.[51] The name for the new district is Anse du Portier.[50]

Panoramic view of Monaco from the Tête de Chien (Dog's Head) high rock promontory.
Other Languages
Acèh: Monakô
Адыгэбзэ: Монако
Afrikaans: Monaco
Alemannisch: Monaco
አማርኛ: ሞናኮ
Ænglisc: Monaco
Аҧсшәа: Монако
العربية: موناكو
aragonés: Mónegue
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܡܘܢܐܩܘ
armãneashti: Monaco
arpetan: Monacô
asturianu: Mónacu
Avañe'ẽ: Mónako
авар: Монако
azərbaycanca: Monako
تۆرکجه: موناکو
বাংলা: মোনাকো
Bân-lâm-gú: Monaco
башҡортса: Монако
беларуская: Манака
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Манака
भोजपुरी: मोनाको
Bikol Central: Monako
Bislama: Monaco
български: Монако
Boarisch: Monaco
བོད་ཡིག: མོ་ན་ཁོ།
bosanski: Monako
brezhoneg: Monako
буряад: Монако
català: Mònaco
Чӑвашла: Монако
Cebuano: Monako
čeština: Monako
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Mónaco
chiShona: Monaco
chiTumbuka: Monaco
Cymraeg: Monaco
dansk: Monaco
davvisámegiella: Monaco
Deutsch: Monaco
ދިވެހިބަސް: މޮނާކޯ
dolnoserbski: Monaco
डोटेली: मोनाको
eesti: Monaco
Ελληνικά: Μονακό
español: Mónaco
Esperanto: Monako
estremeñu: Mónacu
euskara: Monako
eʋegbe: Monaco
فارسی: موناکو
Fiji Hindi: Monaco
føroyskt: Monako
français: Monaco
Frysk: Monako
Fulfulde: Monako
Gaeilge: Monacó
Gaelg: Monaco
Gagauz: Monako
Gàidhlig: Monaco
galego: Mónaco
ગુજરાતી: મોનૅકો
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: मोनॅको
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Monaco
한국어: 모나코
Hausa: Monaco
Hawaiʻi: Monako
հայերեն: Մոնակո
हिन्दी: मोनाको
hornjoserbsce: Monako
hrvatski: Monako
Igbo: Monako
Ilokano: Monaco
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: মোনাকো
Bahasa Indonesia: Monako
interlingua: Monaco (principato)
Interlingue: Mónaco
Ирон: Монако
íslenska: Mónakó
עברית: מונקו
Jawa: Monako
Kabɩyɛ: Monakoo
kalaallisut: Monaco
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಮೊನಾಕೊ
Kapampangan: Monako
къарачай-малкъар: Монако
ქართული: მონაკო
kaszëbsczi: Mònakò
қазақша: Монако
kernowek: Monako
Kinyarwanda: Monako
Kiswahili: Monako
коми: Монако
Kongo: Monako
Kreyòl ayisyen: Monako (peyi)
kurdî: Monako
Кыргызча: Монако
Ladino: Monako
لۊری شومالی: شأر موناکو
latgaļu: Monaks
latviešu: Monako
Lëtzebuergesch: Monaco
лезги: Монако
lietuvių: Monakas
Limburgs: Monaco
lingála: Monaco
Lingua Franca Nova: Monaco
Livvinkarjala: Monako
magyar: Monaco
македонски: Монако
Malagasy: Monakô
മലയാളം: മൊണാക്കോ
Malti: Monako
Māori: Manako
मराठी: मोनॅको
მარგალური: მონაკო
مصرى: موناكو
مازِرونی: موناکو
Bahasa Melayu: Monaco
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Monaco
мокшень: Монако
монгол: Монако
မြန်မာဘာသာ: မိုနာကိုနိုင်ငံ
Dorerin Naoero: Monako
Nederlands: Monaco
Nedersaksies: Monaco
नेपाली: मोनाको
नेपाल भाषा: मोनाको
日本語: モナコ
нохчийн: Монако
Nordfriisk: Monako
Norfuk / Pitkern: Monako
norsk: Monaco
norsk nynorsk: Monaco
Novial: Monako
occitan: Mónegue
олык марий: Монако онлык
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ମୋନାକୋ
Oromoo: Monaakoo
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Monako
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਮੋਨਾਕੋ
पालि: मोनाको
Pälzisch: Monaco
Pangasinan: Monaco
پنجابی: موناکو
Papiamentu: Monaco
پښتو: موناکو
Patois: Manako
Перем Коми: Монако
Picard: Monaco
Plattdüütsch: Monaco
polski: Monako
Ποντιακά: Μονακό
português: Mónaco
Qaraqalpaqsha: Monako
qırımtatarca: Monako
română: Monaco
rumantsch: Monaco
Runa Simi: Munaku
русиньскый: Монако
русский: Монако
саха тыла: Монако
संस्कृतम्: मोनाको
sardu: Mònaco
Scots: Monaco
Seeltersk: Monaco
shqip: Monako
සිංහල: මොනාකෝ
Simple English: Monaco
سنڌي: موناڪو
SiSwati: IMonakho
slovenčina: Monako
slovenščina: Monako
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Монако
ślůnski: Můnako
Soomaaliga: Monako
کوردی: مۆناکۆ
Sranantongo: Monakokondre
српски / srpski: Монако
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Monako
Basa Sunda: Monako
suomi: Monaco
svenska: Monaco
Tagalog: Monaco
தமிழ்: மொனாக்கோ
Taqbaylit: Munaku
татарча/tatarça: Монако
తెలుగు: మొనాకో
tetun: Mónaku
тоҷикӣ: Монако
Türkçe: Monako
Türkmençe: Monako
Twi: Monako
удмурт: Монако
українська: Монако
اردو: موناکو
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: موناكو
Vahcuengh: Monaco
vepsän kel’: Monako
Tiếng Việt: Monaco
Volapük: Monakän
Võro: Monaco
walon: Monaco
文言: 摩納哥
West-Vlams: Monaco
Winaray: Monaco
Wolof: Monaako
吴语: 摩纳哥
Xitsonga: Monaco
ייִדיש: מאנאקא
Yorùbá: Mónakò
粵語: 摩納哥
Zazaki: Monako
Zeêuws: Monaco
žemaitėška: Muonaks
中文: 摩纳哥