About Monaco 


Monaco is located on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is surrounded on land by its neighbor France, and Italy’s borders are just 10 miles away (about 16km). Monaco is the second smallest country in the world and the smallest member of the United Nations, and the world’s most densely populated country: 23.800 inhabitants/mi².

The house of Grimaldi has ruled over Monaco since 1297. Monaco’s sovereignty was officially and permanently recognized by the Franco/Monegasque Treaty of 1861.

Access


BY AIR

The Nice – Côte d’Azur International Airport is located 13.7 miles from Monaco. Helicopters, buses, taxis and car services provide regular liaisons between the airport and the Principality. By helicopter (regularly-scheduled services or by charter), the duration of the flight is 7 minutes. Web site: www.nice.aeroport.fr


BY TRAIN

The Monaco-Monte Carlo (SNCF) railway station is a stop for many international trains. The railway is a rapid means of communication between the Principality and all the localities of the Côte d’Azur from Cannes to Menton. Trains to and from Nice run regularly and last approximately 25 minutes. Web site: www.monaco-gare.com


BY ROAD

The A8 highway, which connects with the European highway system, serves the Principality by means of easy access roads ( Exit A8 – RN7 coming from Nice, La Turbie going to or coming from Nice, Roquebrune going to or coming from Italy). Local travel is provided by three major roads: the Low, the Middle and the Great Corniches. Web site: www.maporama.com


BY INTER-TOWN BUS

To Nice and Cannes, via the Low and Middle Corniches, from 6AM to 1AM and also in the direction of Menton, Italy and the nearby villages. Web site: www.cam.mc


BY SEA

The two harbors of the Principality, the Condamine (Port Hercule harbor) and Fontvieille, are equipped to handle yachts of all weights and sizes while intercontinental cruiseliners are able to anchor in the Port Hercule bay of Monaco.


Geography


A sovereign and independent state, the Principality of Monaco has borders on its landward side with several communes of the French Department of the Alpes-Maritimes; from west to east these are Cap d’Ail, la Turbie, Beausoleil and Roquebrune Cap Martin. Seawards, Monaco faces the Mediterranean Sea.

Its surface area is 485 acres, of which nearly 100 were recovered from the sea during the course of the last twenty years. Monaco lies on a narrow coastal strip, which sometimes rises vertically upwards with its highest point at 206 feet. Its width varies between .65 miles and a mere 382 yards. Its coastline is 2.5 miles long. The Principality has only one commune, Monaco, whose limits are the same as those of the state.

Monaco is divided into ten areas: Monaco-Ville, Monte Carlo, La Condamine, Fontvieille, Moneghetti, Larvotto, La Rousse-Saint Roman, Saint Michel, La Colle, and Les Révoires


Weather


Situated at the heart of Mediterranean Europe, the Principality of Monaco enjoys a particularly mild climate, with more than 300 days of sunshine per year. In winter, temperatures average between 48 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit with sunny days and cool nights. In the springtime, “Le Mistral” wind creates crystal clear skies with temperatures in the 50s-60s. Most summers are in the 80s with hot spells for a week or so in July and August. Sea breezes cool down the evenings. One of the loveliest times to be in Monaco is fall. With temperatures in the 60s to 70s, people are still sun tanning on the beach until mid-October.


Princely Family


In 1997, the Principality of Monaco celebrated the 700 year reign of the Grimaldi dynasty. It all began on January 8, 1297 when the Guelf François Grimaldi dressed as a Franciscan monk, seized the fortress protecting the famous rock of Monaco and the port of Hercules.

Surmounting the trials and tribulations of history and throughout the dark periods of foreign domination, the Principality has managed to affirm its identity and preserve its independence throughout the centuries due to the wise guidance of its Princes.

The Grimaldi dynasty has bequeathed Lords and then Princes to the Principality, illustrious in their many domains, who wrote the most enticing pages in the history of Monaco. To cite but a few: Rainier I, General Admiral of France; Honore II, the first Prince of Monaco at the origins of the most important treaties with France; Louis I, Ambassador to the Holy See under Louis XIV; Antoine I, grand patron of the arts; Charles III, founder of Monte-Carlo; Albert I, renowned as the father of oceanography; Louis II, the soldier Prince.


Economy


From a historical standpoint, a rapid survey leads to the conclusion that from the end of the Nineteenth century and the beginning of the Twentieth, the Public Authorities have encouraged the economic growth of the Principality and provided the framework for the development of private enterprise.

The economic activity of the principality takes place along four main lines:

Industrial activity, often little known, but an area which has undergone considerable development in less than a century. From 1906, when the State financed the construction of the first platform in Fontvieille, industrial firms such as the Monaco Brewery and companies involved in flour-milling and the manufacture of chocolate began to settle there. Over the course of the last twenty years, nearly 200,000 square meters of industrial floor-space has been built. The small area of Monaco’s national territory leads to the setting of industrial premises in buildings which rise to thirteen floors. The Government of the Principality has adopted an industrial policy which operates in favor the establishment of enterprises having a high capital gain factor but which do not create any pollution. The “chemical-pharmaceutical-cosmetics” sector appears to be the most numerous but companies working in the areas of plastic material processing and the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment are also present.

Industrial activity is represented by 105 establishments and 3,500 jobs. In 2005, they generated approximately 8% of the total turnover generated in the Principality. Monaco today has a diversified industry and yet it is perfectly integrated into its setting and its environment.

Tourist activity is essentially connected with private tourism or business tourism. In 2001 this sector was responsible for 13% of the Monégasque economy. The hotel industry of the Principality has 2,616 hotel rooms with a total of 3,920 beds, most of which are in the four star category. The average occupation rate in the region was 58.39% in 2005 or in other words over 800,000 overnight stays and rose to 75.5% in 2006, which worked out at around 915,650 overnight stays. Furthermore, the cruise industry plays an important role for the tourist activity of Monaco. In 2005, over 190 ships called into port bringing a total of 133,000 passengers to the microstate.

For several years, the public authorities have been making considerable efforts in the area of catering for business tourists as for instance the construction of the Grimaldi Forum which is a approximately 592,015 square feet congress center where 454 congresses were hosted in 2005. At present time, tourists coming to Monaco on business or for converences and seminars represent 30 % in terms of hotel occupancy.

The third sector includes tertiary activities which have been greatly developed over the course of recent years in the areas of banking and financial activities, and the establishment of head offices and offices of non-financial companies of international size. The sector which has undergone the most spectacular growth is that of services. It produced, in 2005, around 44% of the turnover and its sphere of activity includes banks, insurance, consulting agencies (technical, commercial, financial and the like), auxiliary services and middlemen.

The fourth sector is that of commerce which represents 39% of the total turnover in 2005.

Finally, real estate activity plays an important role in the economy with 7% of Monégasque turnover, justifying research and determining the directions taken in the field of city planning.

The total turnover of the Principality rose from 3.25 thousand million francs in 1975 to 29 thousand million franks in 1990. In 2000, the Principality of Monaco produced a total turnover of 3.2 billion Euro and in 2005 it passed the 10 billion Euro mark with a turnover of 11 billion euro, which is a 12% increase compared to 2004

For more information, please visit the official website of Monaco’s Economic Development Chamber, www.cde.mc


Culture


The cultural climate of the Principality developed rapidly in the seventeenth century with the encouragement of Prince Honoré III. Under Prince Pierre of Monaco during the first half of the twentieth century, Monaco was a meeting place for all the greatest artists of the time.

Following this lengthy art patronage tradition, H.S.H. Prince Rainier III includes culture and arts as one of his principal concerns. For over fifty years of His reign, H.S.H. Prince Rainier III has encouraged all forms of arts from music to literature. Under His auspices, Monaco’s Music Academy was founded in 1956. The National Philharmonic Orchestra initiated summer performances in the Palace’s Courtyard of Honor. In memory of His Father, Prince Pierre de Monaco, H.S.H. Prince Rainier III instituted the Foundation Prince Pierre, which assigns the Prince Pierre Literary Prize (since 1951), the Musical Composition Prize (since 1960), and the Contemporary Art International Prize (since 1983). His H.S.H. Prince Rainier III created the Directorate of Cultural Affairs in 1966, responsible for coordinating and encouraging all cultural activities of the Principality including the Spring Arts Festival, the Baroque Music Week, and the International Circus Festival.

Under His direction, Monaco’s cultural institutions have also gained international prestige. The Little Singers of Monaco went on their first tour around the world in 1973.

The Prince receives support from His family in His interest in the arts. The late Princess Grace was at the origin of many developments, such as The Princess Grace Irish Library. In 1964, the Princess Grace of Monaco Foundation was created to support the performing arts. The Dance Academy Princess Grace, directed by Marika Besobrasova, is an offshoot of this foundation.

H.S.H. the Princess of Hanover reformed the academy in 1985 to launch the Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. The Princess also presides over the Spring Arts Festival.




For the latest and/or official information please refer to the official site of the Government of the Principality of Monaco at www.gouv.mc

 
 
 
 
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