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The Principality of Monaco

autonomous city-state on French territory a few kilometers from the Italian border, the Principality of Monaco is a former territory of the Republic of Genoa. Under the constitutional monarchy since 1911, she is now under the sovereignty of the Prince Albert II of Monaco. The Grimaldi dynasty, patrician Genoese family, is one of the oldest ruling dynasties of the world.

If the Rock of Monaco was inhabited by the Ligurian and the Phoenicians in ancient times, its history begins in the 13th century with the start of construction in 1215 of a Genoese fortress. The Grimaldi family reign officially over Monaco since the beginning of the 14th century.

The city-state of Monaco can be visited in one day like to be a further stay. Foremost among the must-visits not to be missed in the city face the Monaco prince's palace, built in 1911. Its location at the top of the rock provides a stunning panoramic view of the principality and the Mediterranean.

Part of the palace is open to public visits. It includes the State Apartments and the Prince of Monaco cars collection. Long reserved for foreign sovereign on an official visit, the State Apartments are joined by the Hercules gallery decorated with mythological frescoes and the Hall of Mirrors. We discover successively the Red room, the room of York, the Yellow Lounge also said Louis XV living room and the adjoining room Louis XV, the officers' lounge, the Blue lounge and chandeliers in crystal from Venice, the throne room which hosts the oaths of senior officials and official ceremonies of the ruling family, Mazarin lounge with remarkable polychrome wood paneling, the room Louis XIII Matignon anteroom, then the large vestibule that leads to the dining room and private rooms in a monumental marble staircase.

Monaco's Prince's car collection occupies an exhibition space of 5000 m2. It includes hundreds of old models, luxury cars and race cars that stood out on to Monaco F1 circuits or on the Monte Carlo Rally. After visiting the museum, motorsports fans do not miss the Scuderia Ferrari store in the Monte Carlo quarter.

A walk in Monaco leads visitors from the luxury shops and buildings to the sublime architecture artificial port of Fontvieille, jewel of the principality where accost the most beautiful yachts in the world, and the natural harbor Port Hercule.

Among the notable buildings of the principality included the palace Belle Epoque "Hotel de Paris", the Monte Carlo Casino also of Belle Époque architecture, and the adjoining opera, conceived as the casino by Charles Garnier. With fifteen chapels and churches, the religious heritage of the rock is impressive. The Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate Monaco was built in the late 19th century, under Charles III, in a Roman-Byzantine style.

Monaco also has several interesting museums, including the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology, the Oceanographic Museum, the Museum of Stamps and Coins, the New National Museum of Monaco (contemporary art), the Museum of Old Monaco, or the naval Museum.

Ideal place to stroll and relax, the exotic garden has a wonderful collection of cacti and succulents. At the foot of a cliff, the cave of the Observatory is decorated with natural formations of great beauty. The museum of anthropology and prehistory is located in the garden.