There are several theories how Monaco got its name. One of them says that it derives from the comes from the nearby Greek colony Monoikos founded in the 6th century B.C. by Phocian Greeks. Some other theories claim that the name Monaco comes from the Greeks. In ancient time, the port of Monaco was linked with the cult of Hercules (Greek version), or Heraclius (Roman version). Its name was often linked with the term “Hercules alone”. In late 12th century, the Romans occupied this region. However, the history of today’s Monaco begins in the 13th century with the building of a castle that still stands there, called “Princess’s Palace”.
Monaco has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi since 1297, when Francois Grimaldi captured the fortress. The only period when the Grimaldi’s haven’t ruled Monaco was between 1793 and 1814, when this territory was under French control. Monaco was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1815 until 1860, when the sovereignty of Monaco was decided by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861 at the Vienna Congress. The French municipalities of Menton and Roquebrune were parts of the principality until 1848 when they were proclaimed free cities. In 1861, these towns were annexed to France. Until the 1911 constitution, the princes of Monaco were absolute rulers. In July 1918, a treaty was signed providing for limited French protection over Monaco. The treaty, part of the Treaty of Versailles, established that Monegasque international policy would be aligned with French political, military, and economic interests
Rainier III, Prince of Monaco acceded to the throne following the death of his grandfather, Prince Louis II, in 1949. A new constitution, proclaimed in 1962, abolished capital punishment and provided for female suffrage. In 1993, Monaco became of full member of the United Nations. The new treaty with France, agreeing that the Monaco remains a sovereign state even if the dynasty has no heir, was signed in 2002.
In 2004, the principality became a member of the European Council. On 6 April 2005, Prince Rainier died and his son succeeded him as Albert II of Monaco. Since the Constitution of 1911, Monaco is a parliamentary monarchy, with the Prince as the head of state. The executive branch consists of a Minister of State (Ministre d'État) who presides over a four-member Council of Government (the Cabinet). The minister of state is a French citizen appointed by the prince from among candidates proposed by the French government.. Under the 1962 constitution, the prince shares his power with the unicameral National Council (parliament). The twenty-four members of this legislative body are elected from lists by universal suffrage for five-year terms. The principality's local affairs are directed by the Communal Council (Conseil communal) which consists of fifteen elected members.
Monaco, a destination for high tourism, is divided into six wards: Monaco-Ville, the old town, La Condamine, port area and marketplace, Monte-Carlo, residential zone and casino, Fontvieille, new neighborhood along the coastline, Le Larvotto, beaches, Les Moneghetti, northwestern residential zone. Its specific location between the mountains and the sea, beautiful parks, sports and cultural events, make Monaco and ideal destination for a romantic holiday or unforgettable business events. Monaco’s economy is also focused on the future. This independent state in the heart of Europe, a principality, lures numerous investors and business people. The chief source of Monaco’s income is tourism. Tourists flock to Monaco attracted by its moderate climate, numerous tourist attractions and the Monte Carlo casino.
The principality has no income tax, so it is home to a great number of people who wish to avoid taxation. Monaco is not a member of the European Union but is very closely linked to it via a customs union with France. Monaco has acquired the right to mint Euro coins. Among the numerous cultural and sports events, the best known are Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix and the tennis tournament. November 19 is celebrated as the main holiday.
According to the last census, the Principality of Monaco had a population of 32.409, most of them French, followed by indigenous population and Italians. Since it lies in an almost ideal geographical position, Monaco has very mild winters and sunny summers without too high temperatures. With more than 300 days of sunshine, the people of Monaco can enjoy all the advantages of the Mediterranean climate. Monaco lies in the immediate vicinity of the Southern Alps, only an hour drive from the skiing destinations. The Louis II Stadium, built in 1985, is a venue for international athletics meetings. The stadium hosts different sporting events: table tennis, boxing, squash, basketball, volleyball etc.
Source: National Express