“At a distance of one hour from Nice is the famous Monaco; there is a place called Monte Carlo where they play roulette… Never before have I seen so much gold and silver.”
In 1886, during the reign of Prince Charles III, around the Casino, which became famous throughout Europe, Monte Carlo was founded – a city, or rather a district in a tiny state – the Principality of Monaco. This charming and prestigious resort over the years of its history has become famous not only for the legendary casino. World celebrities, tycoons, representatives of royal families, and simply numerous tourists from all over the world come to Monte Carlo to see the best productions on the stage of the magnificent Garnier Hall, watch exciting Formula I Grand Prix races, enjoy fine dining restaurants and relax in first-class hotels in magical Mediterranean landscapes
Geography and location
Monte Carlo is a world-famous resort, the administrative territory of a dwarf state – the Principality of Monaco. Located on a rocky Mediterranean coast, 20 km from Nice.
Monaco has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters (with an average temperature of +10°C) and warm, dry summers (with an average temperature of +25°C).
Casino and Opera Monte-Carlo
The legendary casino, thanks to which Monte-Carlo appeared, is the creation of the famous architect Charles Garnier, who created the magnificent building of the Paris Opera. Monte Carlo Casino, opened in 1863, is a real monument dedicated to the art of the game. Luxurious palace decoration is hidden behind the magnificent facade of the building, built facing the sea. In the Casino halls there are games for every taste: European (games at thirty and forty, railway, bank on two tables, English and European roulette), American (punto bank, craps, American roulette, the famous blackjack 21), and Also slot machines.
Also in the building of the Casino is the chic Garnier Hall (Salle Garnier), which is inferior to the Parisian opera only in size – a theater that Sarah Bernard opened with her performance in 1879. The Salle Garnier is the home of the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Monte-Carlo Opera. Fyodor Chaliapin, Enrico Caruso, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti performed on the stage of this theater at different times. In 1911, Diaghilev also founded the Diaghilev Russian Ballet here, where Anna Pavlova, Vatslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov danced.
Monaco Grand Prix
This famous Formula 1 race takes place on the urban circuit of Monte Carlo and has been held since 1950. The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious races not only in the Formula 1 championship, but also in the world. This is the only Grand Prix in the world where races are held right on the streets of the city, and they can be observed from the balconies and windows of houses, which makes hotel rooms overlooking the roads where the races take place especially popular during the period of the competition. The race route has not changed since 1950 and is 3,340 km long.
Sights of Monte Carlo
There are quite a lot of attractions in miniature Monte Carlo:
The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is a magnificent mansion built on a sheer cliff in 1889 by Prince Albert I. It combines the museum and the Oceanographic Institute, which opened in 1906. The museum collection is presented in the form stuffed animals and skeletons of various types of marine fauna, as well as ship models, marine tools, weapons, etc. In the basement there is an aquarium, where you can see about 4,000 species of fish and about 200 species of invertebrates.
Prince’s Palace– a majestic palace built on top of a steep cliff, on the site of a fortress built by the Genoese in 1215. The palace is the residence of the Grimaldi – the ruling family of Monaco. The palace includes: an Italian gallery with frescoes on the mythological scenes of the Genoese masters of the 16th century, the Louis XV salon, the Blue Salon, the Mazarin Salon in the Moorish style, decorated with multi-colored wood, the Throne Room, in which official ceremonies are held, the Palatine Chapel, built in the 17th century, white stone St. Mary’s Tower, and famous open-air concerts are held in the luxurious courtyard of the palace. The square in front of the Palace is surrounded by a battery of cannons cast in the era of Louis XIV. It offers stunning panoramic views of Monte Carlo. Every day, at 11:55 sharp, in front of the main entrance to the Palace, the changing of the guard ceremony begins.
The Cathedral of Monaco is the main cathedral of the principality, a grandiose building built in 1875 from white stone brought from La Tourbie. The interior of the cathedral is decorated with paintings by the famous artist Louis Brea. The cathedral also houses the tomb of the Grimaldi family, where Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace are buried.
The Napoleon Museum and the Historical Archive Collection of the Prince’s Palace – Located in the south wing of the Prince’s Palace, the museum houses more than a thousand items related to the life of Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as old paintings, prints and works of art collected in Monaco over the centuries.
Japanese garden– a wonderful garden designed by Japanese landscape architect Yasuo Beppu, commissioned by Prince Rainier III. The garden, spread over an area of 7000 m2 by the Mediterranean Sea, presents a unique collection of flora and amazing garden design.
The Exotic Garden is another unique garden located on the south side of Grimaldi Rock and founded in 1954. About 50 species of animals live here in natural conditions: exotic birds, black panther, white tiger, hippopotamus, reptiles, monkeys, lemurs and many others.
There are over 150 excellent restaurants in Monaco, most of which are located in Monte Carlo.
Louis XV (Hotel de Paris) is a gourmet restaurant famous throughout France, located in the Casino building and marked with three Michelin stars.
Le Grill (Hotel de Paris) is a Michelin-starred gourmet panoramic restaurant with a retractable roof.
Bar & Buf (av. Princesse Grace Le Sporting d’ete Monaco) is an elegant Michelin-starred restaurant designed by Philippe Starck.
Le Vistamar (place Beaumarchais) is an excellent Michelin-starred fish restaurant.
Joel Robuchon (Metropole Hotel)– a magnificent Mediterranean restaurant with an outdoor terrace and panoramic sea views, awarded with a Michelin star.
Maxim’s (av. Costa) is a gourmet restaurant with Belle Epoque interiors.
Quai des Artistes (quai Antoine 1er) is the favorite restaurant of Monaco residents.
SEM Art Gallery (avenue de la Costa) is a new unusual institution that combines a contemporary art exhibition and a restaurant under one roof.
Monte-Carlo is famous for its chic boutiques of the world’s leading brands, located on the famous “Golden Mile” in the Casino district.