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Monaco: The Rock or How to Get Yourself a Principality

28/04/2012

The Rock of Monaco (French: Rocher de Monaco) is a 141 meter (459 foot) tall monolith on the Mediterranean coast of the Principality of Monaco.

The Rock of Monaco was the first conquest of the Grimaldi dynasty, the rulers of the country for more than 700 years.

Monaco was first ruled by a member of the House of Grimaldi in 1297, when Francesco Grimaldi, known as “Il Malizia” (translated from Italian either as “The Malicious One” or “The Cunning One”), disguised himself as a Franciscan monk, with a sword under the cloak of his habit, in order to gain entry to the city and open the gates for his soldiers. Thus, he and his men captured the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco.

Palais_de_Monaco_Palais Princier, the official residence of Albert II, Prince of Monaco._Palais de la principauté de Monaco sur le Rocher face à la méditerranée_Photo Arnaud 25Palais de la principauté de Monaco sur le Rocher face à la méditerranée. Photo Arnaud 25.

Monaco-Ville (also known locally as French: Le Rocher or English: The Rock) is one of Monaco’s administrative divisions located on a rocky headland that extends into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the four traditional quarters (French: quartiers) of Monaco, the others being La Condamine, Monte Carlo, and Fontvieille. However, in modern administrative terms it is one of ten wards. Therefore, Monaco-Ville is neither a town nor the capital of Monaco for which Monaco-Ville is erroneously taken by some people.

The Rock2_Monaco Palace_July 2010 Photo Sebastian Netcu_http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebyn/5092559183/The Rock: Monaco Palace, July 2010. Photo Sebastian Netcu.

Despite being located in the middle of the City of Monaco, the world’s most densely populated urban center, Monaco-Ville remains a medieval village at heart, made up almost entirely of quiet pedestrian streets and marked by virtual silence after sundown.
Though innumerable people visit Monaco-Ville and the palace square, only local vehicles are allowed up to the Rock, and gasoline-powered motorcycles are prohibited after 10 pm.

The Rock3_Monaco to the rocks_Photo quintinsmith_ip_February 2003_http://www.flickr.com/photos/quintinsmith/224674306/Monaco to the rocks. Photo quintinsmith_ip, February 2003.

Monaco /ˈmɒnəkoʊ/, officially the Principality of Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque: Principatu de Múnegu; Italian: Principato di Monaco; Occitan: Principat de Mónegue), is a sovereign city state, located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. Bordered by France on three sides, with one side bordering the Mediterranean Sea, its center is about 16 km (9.9 mi) from Italy, and is only 15 km (9.3 mi) north east of Nice, France.
It has an area of 1.98 km2 (0.76 sq mi), and a population of 35,986, making Monaco the second smallest and the most densely populated country in the world.
Monaco has a land border of only 4.4 km (2.7 mi), a coastline of 4.1 km (2.5 mi), and a width that varies between 1.7 km (1.1 mi) and 349 m (382 yards).
The highest point in the country is a narrow pathway named Chemin des Révoires on the slopes of Mont Agel, in the Les Révoires district, which is 161 metres (528 feet) above sea level.
Monaco’s most populated quartier is Monte Carlo, and the most populated ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins.
After a recent expansion of Port Hercules, Monaco’s total area is 2.05 km2 (0.79 sq mi), with new plans to extend the district of Fontvieille, with land reclaimed from the Mediterranean Sea.

The state has no income tax and low business taxes, and is well known for being a tax haven.
Monaco boasts the world’s highest GDP nominal per capita at $172,676 and GDP PPP per capita at $186,175.
Monaco also has the world’s highest life expectancy at almost 90 years, and the lowest unemployment rate at 0%, with over 48,000 workers who commute from France and Italy each day.
For the third year in a row, Monaco in 2011 had the world’s most expensive real estate market, at $56,300 per square metre.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Monaco has the world’s lowest poverty rate, and the highest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita in the world.
Monaco @ wiki

The Rock5_Outside the train station_Photo Will Bakker_March 2008_http://www.flickr.com/photos/willbakker/2404705325/Outside the train station. Photo Will Bakker, March 2008.

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