The territory of Monaco embodies four city-districts: the capital of Monaco (old city), Monte Carlo (global place for rest and gambling), La Condamine (a business center and sea port) and Fontvieille (industrial area).
This country is called the paradise area as the climate and vegetation strike with their harmonious unity from which you get bright impressions: there is practically no rain, and the winter temperature does not drop below -5 degrees; a big variety of plants (figs, palms, pine, juniper, cacti, citrus fruits, etc.) grows in the area.
In general, the stability of the economy of Monaco is provided by tourism, gambling business and profit from the media covering the life of the royal family. Almost 80% of the population are foreign tourists and business people, and only 20% are local residents, Monegasque, Italians and others.
The history of Monaco dates back to 1215, when the principality came under the power and became a colony of the Republic of Genoa (now the territory of Italy). In 1266 the civil war broke out between the associates of the Pope and supporters of the Roman-German emperor, which ended with the defeat and flight of the pontiff's supporters, the famous Grimaldi family was among the latter. On January, 8 1297 Francesco Grimaldi and his closest friends seized the fortress of Monaco, and since then a long rule of the Grimaldi dynasty in the Principality of Monaco started. After these events, the country was still under the protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia, Spain, France, and only in 2002 the Principality signed an agreement with France according to which Monaco is a sovereign state.
Monaco is rich in historical and cultural sites that are visited by thousands of people annually. Here you can see not only elegant architectural buildings, but also expensive cars, huge luxury yachts, fashionable shops and restaurants. One should start sightseeing with the famous Prince's Palace - the residence of the rulers of Monaco, that was originally built as a Genoese fortress. Next to it is the Palace Square, where you can see the changing of the guard ceremony in full dress. Tourists can go to certain parts of the residence of the princely family: Living room of Louis XV - a combination of elegance and beauty; Mazarini’s living-room that retains its ancient traditions; Italian gallery with unique, charming historical masterpieces, frescoes of Genoese artists of the XVI century; Palace Archives, Museum of Napoleon and St. Mary's Tower (Clock Tower) of white stone Turbot. The Exotic Plants Garden was built nearby and has a huge number of rare plants. The famous Oceanographic Museum is the largest scientific and cultural building in Monaco, where there are more than 70 aquariums, and where you can observe different kinds of marine life, nautical instruments and other collections of marine life. For lovers of ballet and opera we recommend to visit the Opera House, designed in golden and red colours, ordered by Prince Charles III and built in record time by architect Charles Garnier (the author of the Paris Opera). In 1875, the Cathedral was built in Monaco;it is the burial place of all members of the princely family. There is also a Wax Museum, which shows the stark images of monarchs, princes, as well as home furnishings, clothes from different eras. The town of Fontvieille hosts the museum of vintage cars with more than a hundred of rare stylish retro automobiles.
Each year, the Principality of Monaco arranges various exhibitions, festivals, music concerts, tasting days, and motor racing Grand Prix Formula 1, held since 1950, sports tournaments in tennis, yachting races, horse races and other competitions. However, undoubtedly, most people associate this tiny country with the Monte Carlo casino. Built in 1863, it became the opening of the era of gambling in Monaco. The casino impresses with its fantastic Rococo architecture, beautiful scenery, and rich world elite representatives. It should not be forgotten the dress code for visitors is certainly refined, and the local residents of the city-state do not have the right to visit the casino.
This picturesque place attracts with a huge number of shops, clean beaches, the custom to arrange gardens on rooftops of buildings, comfortable hotels, and stylish restaurants. So it is called «elite tourist destination».