Monaco City (French: Monaco-Ville [mɔnakɔ vil]; Monégasque: Mùnegu Autu)[1] is the southcentral ward in the Principality of Monaco.[2] Located on a headland that extends into the Mediterranean Sea,[3] it is nicknamed The Rock (French: Le Rocher; Monégasque: A Roca). The name "Monaco City" is misleading: it is not itself a city, but a historical and statistical district.[4][5] It holds most of the country's political and judicial institutions: the Prince's Palace, the town hall, the government, the National Council (parliament of Monaco), the Municipal Council, the courts and a prison (hanging on The Rock).[6]

Monaco City
Monaco-Ville (French)
Mùnegu Autu (Monégasque)
View of Monaco City
View of Monaco City
The Rock
Location in Monaco
Location in Monaco
Coordinates: 43°43′51.24″N 7°25′26.76″E / 43.7309000°N 7.4241000°E / 43.7309000; 7.4241000
Country Monaco
 • Land19.6491 ha (48.5540 acres)
 • Total975
 • Density4,962/km2 (12,850/sq mi)
Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Monaco City

Geography edit

Monaco City is one of the four traditional quarters (French: quartiers) of Monaco; the others are La Condamine, Monte Carlo, and Fontvieille. It is located at 43°43′51″N 7°25′26″E / 43.73083°N 7.42389°E / 43.73083; 7.42389 and has an estimated population of 975. It has 19.64 hectares of surface and is located between the districts of Fontvieille and La Condamine.

History edit

Monaco Ville was originally called in Greek Monoikos, after the temple of Hercules Monoikos, located in a Phocaean colony of the 6th century BCE. During its history, Monoikos changed hands numerous times. It became Monaco in the Middle Ages. Some of the city walls and original structures still remain.

It was here that the Phocaeans of Massalia (now Marseille) founded the colony of Monoïkos in the 6th century BC. Monoikos was associated with Hercules, who was worshipped as Hercules Monoecus. According to the works of Hercules, but also according to Diodorus of Sicily and Strabo, the Greeks and the Ligurians reported that Hercules had passed through the region.

On 10 June 1215, a detachment of Ghibellines led by Fulco del Cassello began the construction of a fortress on the rock of Monaco in order to make it a strategic military position and a means of controlling the area.

They also established dwellings at the base of the Rock to support the garrisons. To attract the inhabitants of Genoa and the surrounding towns, they offered land and exempted newcomers from taxes.

On January 8, 1297, François Grimaldi, descendant of Otto Canella, consul of Genoa in 1133, took over the fortress. Although he had a small army, he disguised himself as a Franciscan friar to enter, before opening the gates to his soldiers. This episode gave rise to his nickname, Malizia ("malice"). This is why today the arms of Monaco bear two Franciscans armed with a sword.

Landmarks edit

Despite being located in the middle of the City of Monaco, the world's most densely populated urban center, Monaco City remains a medieval village at heart, made up almost entirely of quiet pedestrian streets and marked by virtual silence after sundown. Though innumerable people visit Monaco City and the palace square, only local vehicles are allowed up to the Rock, and gasoline-powered motorcycles are prohibited after 10 p.m.

Notable residents edit

Gallery edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ King, David C. (2008). Monaco. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 978-0-7614-2567-0.
  2. ^ Eccardt, Thomas M. (2005). Secrets of the Seven Smallest States of Europe: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City. Hippocrene Books. ISBN 978-0-7818-1032-6.
  3. ^ Steves, Rick (2019-10-29). Rick Steves Mediterranean Cruise Ports. Avalon Publishing. ISBN 978-1-64171-094-7.
  4. ^ "United-Nations data, country profile". Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Constitution of Monaco (art. 78): The territory of the Principality forms a single commune.". Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  6. ^ Mundo, Instituto del Tercer (2008). Guia del Mundo 2009 (in Spanish). IEPALA Editorial. ISBN 978-84-675-3225-8.
  7. ^ "Fort Antoine". Visit Monaco - Fort Antoine. Visit Monaco. Retrieved 27 June 2014.

External links edit