Dive into the legend of Monte-Carlo SBM!
From the birth of a legend until the present day,discover the fascinating past of Monte-Carloand its prestigious heritage on our Monte-Carlo Legend website.
From the earliest prehistoric times and Antiquity, the Rock of Monaco and its natural harbour served as a refuge for primitive populations, then navigators who had sailed from the East. It was in the 6th century BC that a Ligurian tribe which had settled in the region gave Monaco its name.
For more than seven centuries, the Grimaldi Family has presided over the Principality of Monaco’s destiny. This remarkable longevity is a good illustration of the national unity between the Princes and the people of Monaco.
Religious and secular traditions are still perpetuated. They sometimes overlap, with religious ceremonies being followed by popular festivities. Religious traditions are however more deeply rooted than other traditions in the collective memory of the Monegasques. They form an integral and exclusive part of their moral and socio-cultural heritage. Furthermore, in spite of its tiny size, the Principality of Monaco boasts a very rich and varied architectural heritage.
An independent sovereign state, the Principality of Monaco faces the Mediterranean Sea and rubs shoulders with several municipalities in the French “département” of the Alpes-Maritimes (from west to east, Cap d’Ail, La Turbie, Beausoleil and Roquebrune-Cap Martin).
Its surface area is about 487 acres, of which almost 100 have been reclaimed from the sea over the past 30 years. Monaco stretches out along a narrow coastal band, occasionally rising almost vertically and culminating at an altitude of 163 metres. Its width varies from 1.05 metres to only 350 metres. Its shoreline is 4,100 metres long.
The Principality is one municipality, Monaco, whose borders are the same as those of the State. The climate is mild in winter and not excessively hot in summer. The average year-round temperature is 16°C rising to 31°C and the Principality benefits from an excellent amount of sunshine.
French is the official language, though English and Italian are also commonly spoken and understood. The Monegasque language is still used by the “old folk” and taught to toddlers in the Principality’s schools.
Monaco lives in tune with the rest of the world, and plays host to 125 different nationalities. 40% of its residents are French, 17% Italian and 5% British.
Since 1st January 1999, the euro has been the currency used in Monaco, and since 1st January 2002, coins and banknotes in euros have been legal currency in the Principality, just like its national coins and notes.
From the earliest prehistoric times and Antiquity, the Rock of Monaco and its natural harbour served as a refuge for primitive populations, then navigators who had sailed from the East. It was in the 6th century BC that a Ligurian tribe which had settled in the region is believed to have given Monaco its name.
After the Phœnicians, from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD, the Romans moved into the region. They used Monaco’s waterfront, which took the name of “Portus Herculis Monoeci” (Port d’Hercule).
From the early 6th century to the end of the 10th century, the region suffered many invasions. It wasn’t until the year 975 that the Count of Provence succeeded in getting rid of the Saracens, thus marking the start of a new era.
In 1162, Genoa’s authority over the Ligurian coast was recognised by the Emperor Frédéric I Barberousse, from Porto Venere as far as Monaco. In 1191, Emperor Henri VI finally conceded the Rock of Monaco to Genoa, together with its port and adjacent lands. The Genoese installed a colony on the Rock and built a fort (1215), which became the frontier-post west of the Republic.
In 1270, a civil war in Genoa opposed the Guelfes, supporters of the Pope, and the Gibelins, supporters of the Germanic Roman Emperor. Following a victory won by the Gibelins, many Guelfe families were banished into exile, including that of the Grimaldis. By persevering, this powerful family of Genoese patricians outmatched the ruses of History and settled on the Rock of Monaco at the beginning of the Middle Ages.
In response to the exile imposed on the Guelfes, the fortress of Monaco was taken by surprise on 8 January 1297 by a band of them led by François Grimaldi, nicknamed“Malizia”.
Charles Grimaldi, leader of the Guelfes, took possession of the Rock on 12 September 1331, but only assumed the title “Lord of Monaco” in 1342.
In 1346 and 1355, the Grimaldis acquired the seigneuries and fiefs of Menton and Roquebrune. Together with that of Monaco, these seigneuries were to comprise the Principality’s territory from 1633 to 1861.
Before his death in 1454, Jean I made some fundamental arrangements in his will which would constitute the basis for succession in the House of Monaco for the next five centuries. He decreed that male children would succeed by order of primogeniture: if there were no male descendants, only then would women be called upon, on condition that their descendants take the Grimaldi name and coat-of-arms.
During the 15th century, the Seigneurie was recognised notably by the Duke of Savoy and, in 1512, by the King of France: all vassalage to Genoa thus disappeared. Lambert Grimaldi, who was Sovereign Lord of Monaco from 1458 to 1494, was Counsellor and Chamberlain to Charles VIII of France; this privileged relationship at the highest level of State extended the activities of Rainier I and Charles I.
Alliances brought the Lords of Monaco to move closer to France, to fight against Naples, to fall under the protection of Spain from 1524 to 1641, before King Louis XIII of France, in the Treaty of Péronne (1641), finally repositioned the Principality within France’s sphere of influence.
In 1633, the Spanish Chancery recognised the title “Prince of Monaco” which had been used as early as 1612 by Honoré II when signing his notarial deeds. The Treaty of Péronne declared attribution of the fiefs of Le Valentinois, Carladès, Les Baux and Saint-Rémy to Prince Honoré II and his son. In December 1678, Louis I promulgated the legal statutes of the Principality, also known as the “Code Louis”. The attachment of “Fort d’Hercule” to France in 1793 was not to last, as the Princes’ rights and prerogatives were restored to them by the Treaty of Paris in 1814.
Charles III surrendered his rights to Menton and Roquebrune to France on 2 February 1861, in a treaty in which one clause provided for the creation of a customs union between the two States. This was concluded in 1865.
The Société des Bains de Mer was created in 1856, together with the Casino. Several hotels were built on the Plateau des Spélugues which, in 1866, was given the name “Monte-Carlo” (Mount-Charles, after the name of the reigning Prince).
His son, Prince Albert I, nicknamed the “Navigator Prince” or “Scientist Prince”, was responsible for great advances achieved in life sciences at the dawn of the 20th century.
In 1910, Prince Albert I founded the well-known Museum of Oceanography in Monaco, which he bequeathed in his will to the Oceanographic Institute he had founded in Paris.
In 1911, he gave Monaco a constitutional structure. The Institute of Human Paleontology, devoted above all to research, was inaugurated in Paris in 1920.
In 1922, Prince Louis II succeeded him to the throne. Under his reign, the Medico-Legal Committee of Monaco was created in 1933, sketching out the bases for the Geneva Conventions of 1949. In the meantime, on 8 July 1948, the Principality became a member of the World Health Organisation.
In 1949, Prince Rainier III mounted the throne. His reign was one which transformed the Principality the most. He intensified and diversified activities introduced under the three preceding reigns, not only in political, diplomatic, international, economic and social fields, but also in those of education and sport, healthcare, science, culture and communication. He also added an industrial dimension to the Principality.
On 17 December 1962, he endowed the Principality with a new Constitution.
In 1993, he obtained Monaco’s admission as a Member State in the United Nations Organisation.
On 5 October 2004, after proceedings which had lasted for six years, the Principality of Monaco joined the Council of Europe as the 46th Member State of this organisation. At the official ceremony in Strasbourg, Prince Albert II declared, on behalf of his father, Prince Rainier III : “Admission of the Principality of Monaco to the Council of Europe is for me, as for all my countrymen, a subject for legitimate satisfaction and pride”. “I am very happy that Monaco has been admitted to an Organisation inspired by such noble aspirations thanks to the rich diversity of the nations it represents”.
This legendary casino and Belle Epoque jewel is the absolute reference for all players. Its wide range of table games is the most prestigious and the most complete in Europe.
A stone's throw from the Sporting Monte-Carlo is the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, complete with its own ultra-modern designed casino combining pleasure and comfort.
A legendary luxury hotel ideally located on Monaco's glamorous Place du Casino: 182 rooms including 74 suites and junior suites, 3 restaurants including Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse, and direct access to the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo.
A Belle Epoque jewel with discreet charm: 280 rooms including 15 junior suites, 20 suites and 8 Diamond suites, unimpeded views of Monaco's harbour and direct access to the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo.
The new resort: 334 rooms including 22 suites, heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a sandy-bottomed lagoon, the Spa Cinq Mondes, state-of-the-art facilities and walking distance to the famous Sporting Monte-Carlo.
Welcome to a legendary hotel that has been redesigned by India Mahdavi: 40 rooms, including 14 suites and junior suites, the gourmet Elsa restaurant, a sweeping view of the Mediterranean, a water sports club and Olympic-size swimming pool.
Discover the innovative cuisine inspired by Chef Marcel Ravin on his travels, in a casual trendy ambiance with superb views of the sea and gardens.
Amber lighting, a Zen attitude, music featuring world-renowned compilations, the “made in Monaco” Buddha Bar is the perfect place to unwind, just around the corner from the busy Place du Casino.
The legendary terrace of the Café de Paris epitomises the very special ambiance of this venue on Place du Casino. Open all year round from breakfast until late at night, it offers a wide range of drinks and exotic cocktails for those who enjoy watching the glamorous world of Monte-Carlo go by.
Breakfast or lunch in this exquisite restaurant is a delightful experience, with views of the harbour, Monaco’s famous Rock and palm trees.
This new restaurant offers top quality contemporary cuisine which draws on Riviera culinary traditions.
At the helm in this delightful restaurant facing the sea is Chef Jean-Claude Brugel who produces deliciously light and tasty meals.
L’Orange Verte offers a simple and delicious cuisine at any time of day.
Welcome to La Pizzeria, Monte-Carlo Beach's new restaurant that will take you on a culinary journey to Italy. Enjoy a superb view of the Mediterranean, an idyllic setting, 100% organic food, and much more!
This is a magnificent venue for hosting your prestigious receptions all year round and for dining out in summer on its terrace with a view of Place du Casino.
With panoramic views over the lagoon and sea, La Trattoria is an Alain Ducasse restaurant.
Basking in the sunshine, surrounded by lush greenery as you listen to the sound of the waves, this is an ideal spot to tuck into grilled fish or a buffet at lunchtime, or yield to the temptations of a well-orchestrated menu in the evening.
A summer restaurant with south-facing terrace located between the sea and the lagoon.
The Chef prepares an inventive and contemporary cuisine in a casual club-like ambiance.
From its lofty position on the eighth floor, this restaurant offers a new interpretation of Mediterranean gourmet cuisine. In summer the roof slides back to reveal one of the most beautiful views on the Côte d’Azur.
Experience a philosophy which reinterprets a cuisine based on the essentials and simplicity, with a subtle, harmonious balance between tradition, evolution and modernity.
Amidst a decor designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, Le Vistamar plays host to an original concept orchestrated by Chef Joël Garault.
A restaurant offering French gastronomy which welcomes gourmet players between two rounds of Chemin de Fer, without leaving the gaming rooms, with the bonus of an enchanting view of the sea and Cap-Martin.
Amidst the lively atmosphere of the American gaming rooms, this restaurant offers daily specials and a wide choice of salads and pasta dishes you can mix and match as you wish.
Traditional Italian cuisine. Located at the entrance of the gaming halls, overlooking the Place du Casino, décor recreates in minute detail a dining room sleeper in the time of the Belle Epoque.
In the heart of the Hôtel Hermitage enjoy tasty appetizers and exellent champagnes by the glass.
With its unusual design, terrace by the sea, billiards room and DJ, the Blue Gin is a venue you have to visit at least once when in Monaco. The spacious lounge is the perfect place to relax and peruse a highly original drinks menu.
A chic venue with a beautiful terrace and magnificent view of the Principality, this is the ideal spot to enjoy fine wines by the glass and a cigar.
Come discover the magnificent panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea, Port Hercule and the Rock of Monaco from the Crystal Terrace, in a cosy lounge atmosphere.
One of the world's legendary night clubs that has been lighting up Riviera nights for over 30 years.
An elegant ambiance of shiny leather, soft lighting and windows onto the sea awaits you in this mythical bar, which collects vintage wines and spirits.
A heavenly spot in which to relax in a lounge atmosphere under the palm trees: open daily from 4pm to 1am. Lulled by the lapping of the waves the Monte-Carlo Beach dozes in the sun before all five senses come alive at night.
The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort has assembled all the expertise of the Cinq Mondes SPAS to offer a unique voyage for the senses.
This SPA draws inspiration from the inherent harmony in the architecture and ambiance of the Monte-Carlo Beach itself: 80m² dedicated to well-being with three massage rooms, a hammam, and treatment products and programmes by La Prairie.
Discover the wide range of wellness experiences offered by the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo and enjoy moments of total relaxation, genuinely individual programmes and personalised treatments.
Experience magical moments as a family at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo. Children are offered a choice of multiple activities: indoors or out, playful or delicious, alone or accompanied, to reconcile fun for children and peace of mind for parents!
The Children’s Club at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort welcomes children aged 3 to 12, seven days a week from 10am to 6pm.
There is everything here to keep your kids busy in Monaco during your stay at the 5 star luxury hotel: cookery workshops, music, swimming, etc.
Take advantage of this 25-by-13-metre pool heated at 29°C and filled with seawater taken from a depth of 37 metres and 400 metres out.
The beautiful landscaped gardens feature a magnificent lagoon with cascades, jacuzzis and vast sun terraces.
Come discover Cabanas and its refined cuisine, customised tent service and idyllic beach setting.