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. 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.
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. Monaco joined the Council of Europe in Monaco's name comes from the nearby 6th-century BC Phocaean Greek colony. According to an ancient myth, Hercules passed through the Monaco area and turned away the previous gods.
Because the only temple of this area was the "House" of Hercules, the city was called Monoikos. 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. However, the Genoese became engaged in other conflicts, and in the late s Genoa became involved in a conflict with the Crown of Aragon over Corsica. In , the Grimaldi family purchased Monaco from the Crown of Aragon and became the official and undisputed rulers of "the Rock of Monaco".
The principality continued its existence as a protectorate of France until the French Revolution. In , Revolutionary forces captured Monaco and it remained under direct French control until , when the Grimaldi family returned to the throne.
Between and Monaco was occupied by the French in this period much of Europe had been overrun by the French under command of Napoleon. 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.
In , 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. Until the Monegasque Revolution of forced the adoption of the constitution , the princes of Monaco were absolute rulers. The treaty, endorsed in 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. In , the Italian Army invaded and occupied Monaco, forming a fascist administration.
On 19 April , 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. A amendment to the constitution abolished capital punishment, provided for women's suffrage , and established a Supreme Court of Monaco to guarantee fundamental liberties. In , a crisis developed when Charles de Gaulle blockaded Monaco, angered by its status as a tax haven for wealthy French. The film Grace of Monaco is loosely based on this crisis.
In , the Principality of Monaco became a member of the United Nations , with full voting rights.
In , 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. On 31 March , Rainier III, who was too ill to exercise his duties, relinquished them to his only son and heir, Albert. Following a period of official mourning, Prince Albert II formally assumed the princely crown on 12 July ,  in a celebration that began with a solemn Mass at Saint Nicholas Cathedral , where his father had been buried three months earlier.
Monaco has been governed under a constitutional monarchy since , with the Sovereign Prince of Monaco as head of state. Under the constitution, the prince shares his veto power with the unicameral National Council. The principality's city affairs are directed by the Communal Council ,  which consists of 14 elected members and is presided over by a mayor. Monaco is the second-smallest country by area in the world ; only Vatican City is smaller.
There is no geographical distinction between the State and City of Monaco, although responsibilities of the government state-level and of the municipality city-level are different. The municipalities were merged into one in , after accusations that the government was acting according to the motto "divide and conquer," and they were accorded the status of Wards or Quartiers thereafter.
An additional ward was planned by new land reclamation to be settled beginning in  but Prince Albert II announced in his New Year Speech that he had ended plans due to the current economic climate. Currently Monaco is subdivided into ten wards , with their official numbers; either Fontvieille II or Le Portier would become the effective eleventh ward, if built: The wider defence of the nation is provided by France.
Monaco has no navy or air force, but on both a per-capita and per-area basis, Monaco has one of the largest police forces police officers for about 36, people and police presences in the world. There is also a small military force. The company numbers exactly officers and men; while the NCOs and soldiers are local, the officers have generally served in the French Army.
In addition to their guard duties as described, the Carabiniers patrol the principality's beaches and coastal waters. Monaco is a sovereign city state , with five quartiers and ten wards,  located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. Saint-Jean is the longest flowing body of water, around 0.
After a recent expansion of Port Hercules ,  Monaco's total area grew to 2. Current land reclamation projects include extending the district of Fontvieille. There is a neighboring French port called Cap d'Ail that is near Monaco. Monaco exhibits a wide range of architecture, but the principality's signature style, particularly in Monte Carlo, is that of the Belle Epoque.
Decorative elements including turrets, balconies, pinnacles, multi-coloured ceramics and caryatids and borrowed and blended to create a picturesque fantasy of pleasure and luxury, and an alluring expression of how Monaco sought, and still seeks, to portray itself. Following major development in the s, Prince Rainier III banned high-rise development in the principality.
Csa , which is influenced by the oceanic climate and the humid subtropical climate. As a result, it has warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. On the other hand, the nights are very mild, due to the fairly high temperature of the sea in summer. In the winter, frosts and snowfalls are extremely rare and generally occur once or twice every ten years.
One of Monaco's main sources of income is tourism. Each year many foreigners are attracted to its casino and pleasant climate. The state retains monopolies in numerous sectors, including tobacco and the postal service. It is still, however, a monopoly. Living standards are high, roughly comparable to those in prosperous French metropolitan areas. Monaco is not a member of the European Union. However, it is very closely linked via a customs union with France and, as such, its currency is the same as that of France, the euro.
Before , Monaco minted its own coins, the Monegasque franc. Monaco has acquired the right to mint euro coins with Monegasque designs on its national side. The plan for casino gambling was drafted during the reign of Florestan I in Under Louis-Philippe's petite-bourgeois regime, however, a dignitary such as the Prince of Monaco was not allowed to operate a gambling house. The House of Grimaldi was in dire need of money.
The towns of Menton and Roquebrune , which had been the main sources of income for the Grimaldi family for centuries, were now accustomed to a much improved standard of living and lenient taxation thanks to Sardinian intervention and clamored for financial and political concession, even for separation. The Grimaldi family hoped the newly legal industry would help alleviate the difficulties they faced, above all the crushing debt the family had incurred, but Monaco's first casino would not be ready to operate until after Charles III assumed the throne in The Blancs opened Le Grand Casino de Monte Carlo in and the casino benefited from the tourist traffic the newly built French railway system created.
The most recent addition in Monte Carlo is the Monte Carlo Bay Casino , which sits on 4 hectares of the Mediterranean Sea and, among other things, offers slot machines, all equipped with " ticket-in, ticket-out " TITO ; it is the first Mediterranean casino to use this technology. Monaco has high social-insurance taxes, payable by both employers and employees.
Monaco has never levied income tax on individuals ,  and foreigners are thus able to use it as a " tax haven " from their own country's taxes, because as an independent country, Monaco is not obligated to pay taxes to other countries. Unlike classic tax havens, it does not offer offshore financial services. In it went a step farther and secured a place on its "white list", after signing twelve information exchange treaties with other jurisdictions.
However, difficulties have been encountered with Monaco by countries in international investigations on serious crimes that appear to be linked also with tax matters. The Council of Europe also decided to issue reports naming tax havens. Twenty-two territories, including Monaco, were thus evaluated between and on a first round.
Monaco was the only territory that refused to perform the second round, between and , whereas the 21 other territories had planned implementing the third and final round, planned between and This is why the first euro coins from Monaco have the year on them, instead of , like the other countries of the Eurozone that decided to put the year of first circulation on their coins. Monaco's total population was 38, in The official language of Monaco is French , while Italian is spoken by the principality's sizeable community from Italy. Thus, French and Italian supplants Monegasque, the vernacular language of the Monegasques, which is not recognized as an official language; English is used by American , British , Anglo- Canadian , and Irish residents.
The official religion is the Catholic Church, with freedom of other religions guaranteed by the constitution. The diocese, which has existed since the midth century, was raised to a non-metropolitan archbishopric in as the Archdiocese of Monaco and remains exempt i. The patron saint is Saint Devota. Christians comprise a total of There are various Evangelical Protestant communities that gather periodically. The report states that there are two Protestant churches, including the local Anglican church and a Reformed church. There is one Anglican church St.
In this had a formal membership of Anglicans resident in the principality, but was also serving a considerably larger number of Anglicans temporarily in the country, mostly as tourists. The church site also accommodates an English-language library of over 3, books. Two-thirds of the Jewish population is Sephardic , mainly from North Africa , while the other third is Ashkenazi. The Muslim population of Monaco consists of about people, most of whom are exclusively residents, not citizens.
Since , the Monaco Grand Prix has been held annually in the streets of Monaco. The erection of the Circuit de Monaco takes six weeks to complete and the removal after the race takes another three weeks. Despite the challenging nature of the course it has only had one fatality, Lorenzo Bandini , who crashed, burned and died three days later from his injuries in Since part of the Monte Carlo Rally has been held in the principality, originally held at the behest of Prince Albert I.
It has long been considered to be one of the toughest and most prestigious events in rallying and from to was the opening round of the World Rally Championship WRC. Monaco hosts two major football teams in the principality: The club is historically one of the most successful clubs in the French league, having won Ligue 1 eight times most recently in —17 and competed at the top level for all but six seasons since The women's team, OS Monaco, competes in the women's French football league system.
The club currently plays in the local regional league, deep down in the league system. Current French women's international goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi had a short stint at the club before going to the INF Clairefontaine academy. The team plays its home matches in the Stade Louis II. Monaco's national rugby team , as of October , is 91st in the International Rugby Board rankings. Monaco has also competed in the Olympic Games, although, no athlete from Monaco has ever won an Olympic medal.
Acknowledged as the most glamorous of the series, Monaco will be hosting the world's most celebrated riders, including Monaco's own Charlotte Casiraghi , in a setting facing out over the world's most beautiful yachts, and framed by the Port Hercules and Prince's palace. The Monaco Marathon is the only marathon in the world to pass through three separate countries, those of Monaco, France and Italy, before the finish at the Stade Louis II. The Monaco Ironman The race includes a 1.
Since , the headquarters of the International Association of Athletics Federations ,  the world governing body of athletics , is located in Monaco. A municipal sports complex, the Rainier III Nautical Stadium in the Port Hercules district consists of a heated saltwater Olympic-size swimming pool , diving boards and a slide.
From 10—12 July Monaco inaugurated the Solar1 Monte Carlo Cup, a series of ocean races exclusively for solar-powered boats. Monaco has an opera house , a symphony orchestra and a classical ballet company. Monaco has a national museum of contemporary visual art at the New National Museum of Monaco.
The country also has numerous works of public art, statues,museums, and memorials see list of public art in Monaco. Monaco has ten state-operated schools, including: The flag of Monaco is one of the world's oldest national flag designs. Monaco is so old that it has outlived many of the nations and institutions that it has had relations with. Monaco made a special agreement with France in in which French customs laws apply in Monaco and its territorial waters.
There are two embassies in Monaco: A recurring issue Monaco encounters with other countries is the attempt by foreign nationals to use Monaco to avoid paying taxes in their own country. There are no border formalities entering or leaving to France. For visitors a souvenir passport stamp is available on request at Monaco's tourist office.
This is located on the far side of the gardens that face the Casino. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the city-state. For other uses, see Monaco disambiguation. This section needs to be updated.
See Monaco Organisation territoriale fr. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. Law enforcement in Monaco and Military of Monaco. Land reclamation in Monaco. Religion in Monaco  [c] Christianity. Catholic Church in Monaco.
The wedding may have had its dodgy moments of controversy, but it was something that no other small seaside town could have managed. And - better yet - the marriage produced not one but two babies when, on December 10, , Princess Charlene gave birth to twins Gabrielle and Jacques. Monaco takes itself terribly seriously. The principality also plunges now and again into scandal - shaken, for instance, in late by alleged shenanigans starring a Russian billionaire, a Swiss art dealer and a Monegasque government minister.
It perhaps goes with the territory. At any event, I - in common with other ordinary mortals - shall never qualify to be a Monegasque.
But we can all have walk-on parts in the never-never-land production. And, at least once in our lives, we should.
S tart up on the Rock where Monaco itself started. Be before the Princely Palace at Then wander the narrow streets of the old town - buffed up as if for a royal visit at any moment. Take in the wonderful Oceanographic Museum, before descending to the Port Hercule - and up the other headland to Monte Carlo, the casino, the limos, the posh shops and magnificent gardens. You're through with the essentials. R ead all of our latest articles on Monaco, including guides to the main attractions, the city's best museums and galleries, lesser known bars and attractions and more.
M onaco law requires that you always have personal ID about your person, so keep your passport on you. When introduced to someone, shake him or her by the hand. All that cheek-kissing comes a little later considerably later between men , when acquaintance has been struck up. Round-the-clock snacking is far less common in Monaco than in the UK — as is eating or drinking in the street.
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