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Facts about Monaco




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What is Monaco ?
The Principality of Monaco is a sovereign city-state in Europe.

What is the capital of Monaco ?
Since Monaco is both a city and an independent nation, Monaco is also the capital. Sometimes mistaken for the capital, Monte Carlo is only a region in Monaco, though it is the most populated region.

How was Monaco formed ?
Italians from the nearby region, Liguria, received the area of modern-day Monaco as a land grant from Emperor Henry VI in 1191.

They built a fortress in what is now Monaco in 1215, and was part of the Republic of Genoa through the Renaissance. The Grimaldi family took control in 1297, though not permanently until 1419. During the Renaissance, Monaco was part of the Republic of Genoa.

Over the years since then, Monaco has been taken over by a few different countries. In 1793, French Revolutionaries captured Monaco, holding it until 1814 when the Bourbons returned to the throne. This did not last long though, as Monaco soon became a Protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1815 until 1860, when it returned to France. Monaco gained its sovereignty under the Franco Monegasque treaty of 1861. In 1869, Monaco’s casino earned so much money, the country stopped collecting income taxes, making Monaco a great place to live.

The Monegasque Revolution in 1910 led to its 1911 constitution, which moved the country away from absolute rule. Prince Albert I quickly suspended it, and has been constitutional monarchy since then.

The Franco-Monegasque Treaty of July 1918 granted limited French protection over Monaco. Today, Monaco relies on France for its defense.

Monaco briefly became part of Italy during its fascist occupation in 1942. In 1993, Monaco became a member of the United Nation.

What form of currency is used in Monaco ?
Even though Monaco is not a member of the European Union, it is closely linked to the organization because of its relationship with France, so Monaco uses the Euro as its form of currency. Until recently, Monaco minted its own coins, called the Monegasque franc, which were produced until 2002.

What are the main economic factors of Monaco ?
Today, Monaco is one of the richest nations in the world, with the highest GDP nominal per capita.

With the addition of a railroad link to France in the late 19th century, Monaco’s economy began rapidly developing. Tourism became a major part of Monaco’s economy when the nation opened its casino in Monte Carlo, which helped Monaco become the world famous tourist destination it is today. In 1869, the government of Monaco decided to stop collecting income taxes because the casino brought in enough money, making Monaco a great place to live. Monaco’s own citizens, however, are prevented by law from gambling at their casino.

How big is Monaco ?
Monaco is only 2 square kilometers, making it the second smallest sovereign nation in the world, after Holy Sea (Vatican City). Almost all of Monaco is urban, with only a tiny portion of the 4 kilometers devoted to agriculture. Some of Monaco’s area has been reclaimed from the sea in recent times.

Where is Monaco located ?
Monaco is located in Western Europe, along the southeastern coast of France. Monaco’s 4 kilometers of coastline is along the area known as the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur), which has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco borders France on all three of its land borders, but Italy’s coast is only a few kilometers away.

What is the population of Monaco ?
Monaco’s population is around 35,500. With a life expectancy of almost 90 years, the population of Monaco has the world’s longest life span. Its population combined with Monaco’s small area gives it the highest population density in the world.

What are the main ethnic groups in Monaco ?
The French make up almost half of the population of Monaco, while Monegasque and Italian make up nearly 20% each.

What is the religion of Monaco ?
Monaco has no official religion, but about 90% of the population identifies as Roman Catholic.

What languages are spoken in Monaco ?
French is the official language of Monaco, but English, Italian, and Monegasque are also spoken. Monegasque evolved from the Italian dialect of Liguria, the Italian region closest to Monaco. Monegasque is influenced by French as well as Intemelio and Mentonasc dialects.

What type of government does Monaco have ?
Monaco is a constitutional monarchy and a principality, meaning the monarch holds the title of prince or princess.

Who are the political leaders of Monaco ?
Chief of State: Prince Albert II
Minister of State: Michel Roger

What type of administrative divisions does Monaco have ?
Monaco is one commune that was traditionally divided into four quarters: Fontvieille, La Condamine, Monaco-Ville, and Monte-Carlo.

When did Monaco achieve independence ?
Monaco’s independence is widely accepted to be the year 1419, when the House of Grimaldi became the permanent rulers of the nation.

When is Monaco’s national holiday ?
Monaco celebrates Saint Rainier’s Day on November 19 every year as the national holiday.

Who was Princess Grace ?
Grace Kelly was an award-winning American actress who married Prince Rainier III of Monaco, and became Princess Grace. The couple’s elaborate wedding ceremony was broadcast around the world, and Grace became a style icon of her time. The son of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace is Prince Albert, the current ruler of Monaco.

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Last Updated : March 21, 2014


 

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