|Area||total: 1.95 sq km |
water: 0 sq km
land: 1.95 sq km
|Population||31,987 (July 2002 est.)|
|Language||French (official), English, Italian, Monegasque|
|Religion||Roman Catholic 90%|
The principality of Monaco lies on the southern Mediterranean Sea coast of France, near the border with Italy, in Southern Europe. It is the second smallest independent state in the world (after the Vatican) and is almost entirely urban. With no natural resources to exploit, other than its location and climate, the principality has become a resort for tourists and a tax haven for businesses.
There are four quarters (quartiers, singular - quartier):
- La Condamine
- Monaco - Capital
Mediterranean with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers
Hilly, rugged, rocky
- Highest point
- Mont Agel 140 m
- Government type
- constitutional monarchy
- 1419 (beginning of the rule by the House of Grimaldi)
Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with a railroad linkup to France and the opening of a casino. Since then, the principality's mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world famous as a tourist and recreation center.
- National holiday
- National Day (Prince of Monaco Holiday), 19 November
- 17 December 1962
- none; linked to airport in Nice, France, by Lyon, and taking the regular train to the city.
- The Jardin Exotique (Exotic Gardens) is a fascinating experience. Many rare plants from around the world are presented in a walking tour that is quite memorable for the views as well as the flora. Due to the rise in altitude, the microclimate of the area is mostly desert, so there are many examples of desert plants, including unusual cacti, to see. There is also a grotto (cave) that has scheduled, guided tours. The entry cost is a bit steep (�8) unless you're under 16 or a student (�3.50)
- The oceanographic museum is one of the finest in the world.
- Entry into the Monaco Casino will cost you �10 for a day. There are also passes for a week, month, or even a year (which costs approx �50). As is usual for casinos, you are not allowed to take photos once inside the casino. It's interesting to observe the games, if not participate for a bit. Watch how much money changes hands! Another attraction is the glass display showing the casino chips of higher value. You get to see the �500,000 chip, which is massive for a chip (in worth AND size).
- See the Formula One Grand Prix
stub and needs your attention. Plunge forward and help it grow!