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Microstate of Monaco.
Coat of Arms of Monaco.svg

Monaco ( /ˈmɒnək/ ( About this sound listen); French pronunciation: ​ [mɔnako]), officially the Principality of Monaco ( French: Principauté de Monaco), is a sovereign city-state and microstate on the French Riviera close to the Italian region of Liguria, in Western Europe. It is bordered by France to the north, east and west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The principality is home to 38,682 residents, of whom 9,486 are Monégasque nationals; it is widely recognised for being one of the most expensive and wealthiest places in the world. The official language is French, although Monégasque (a dialect of Ligurian), Italian and English are spoken and understood by a sizeable group.

With an area of 2.1 km2 (0.81 sq mi), it is the second smallest sovereign state in the world, after Vatican City. Its 19,009 inhabitants per square kilometre (49,230/sq mi) make it the most densely-populated sovereign state in the world. Monaco has a land border of 5.47 km (3.40 mi) and the world's shortest coastline of approximately 3.83 km (2.38 mi); it has a width that varies between 1,700 and 349 m (5,577 and 1,145 ft). The highest point in the state is a narrow pathway named Chemin des Révoires on the slopes of Mont Agel, in the Les Révoires ward, which is 161 metres (528 feet) above sea level. The principality is about 15 km (9.3 mi) from the border with Italy. Its most populous ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins with a population of 5,443 as of 2008. Through land reclamation, Monaco's land mass has expanded by 20 percent. In 2005, it had an area of only 1.974 km2 (0.762 sq mi). The principality is governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. Although Prince Albert II is a constitutional monarch, he wields immense political power; the Minister of State is the head of government. The officeholder can be either a Monégasque or French citizen; the monarch consults with the Government of France before an appointment. The House of Grimaldi has ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, since 1297. The state's sovereignty was officially recognised by the Franco-Monégasque Treaty of 1861, with Monaco becoming a full United Nations voting member in 1993. Despite Monaco's independence and separate foreign policy, its defence is the responsibility of France. However, Monaco does maintain two small military units.

Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with the opening of the state's first casino, the Monte Carlo Casino, as well as a railway connection to Paris. Since then, Monaco's mild climate, scenery and gambling facilities have contributed to the principality's status as a tourist destination and recreation centre for the rich. In more recent years, Monaco has become a major banking centre and has sought to diversify its economy into the services sector and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries. The state has no income tax, low business taxes and is well known for being a tax haven. Over 30% of the resident population are millionaires, with real estate prices reaching €100,000 ($142,000) per square metre in 2018. Monaco is not formally a part of the European Union (EU), but it participates in certain EU policies, including customs and border controls. Through its relationship with France, Monaco uses the euro as its sole currency; prior to this it used the Monégasque franc. Monaco joined the Council of Europe in 2004 and is a member of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). It is also the host of the annual street circuit motor race Monaco Grand Prix, one of the original Grands Prix of Formula One. The principality has a club football team, AS Monaco, who compete in the French Ligue 1 and have become French champions on multiple occasions. A centre of research into marine conservation, Monaco is home to one of the world's first protected marine habitats, an Oceanographic Museum and the International Atomic Energy Agency Environment Labs, which is the only marine laboratory in the United Nations structure. ( Full article...)

Selected location article

The current Hotel Metropole building

The Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, is a five-star hotel at 4, Avenue De La Madone, Monte Carlo, Monaco. ( Full article...)

Selected pictures

Selected ward


Fontvieille (French pronunciation: ​ [fɔ̃vjɛj]) is the southernmost ward in the Principality of Monaco. It was developed by an Italian architect, Manfredi Nicoletti, between the 1970s and the 1990s. ( Full article...)

Selected environment article

The Tête de Chien above Monaco

The Tête de Chien (Dog's Head) is a 550 m (1,804 ft) high rock promontory near the village of La Turbie in the Alpes-Maritimes department of France. It overlooks the Principality of Monaco, and is the highest point on the Grande Corniche road.

The American diplomat Samuel S. Cox, in his 1870 travel book Search for Winter Sunbeams in the Riviera, Corsica, Algiers and Spain wrote that the Tête de Chien more resembled a tortoise than a dog's head, and believed that 'Tête de Chien' was a corruption of 'Tête de Camp', as it was where Caesar stationed his troops after the conquest of Gaul. Vere Herbert, the heroine of Ouida's 1880 novel Moths is described as living under the Tête de Chien, "...within a few miles of the brilliant Hell [Monaco]." ( Full article...)

Selected arts article

"Un train qui part" ( English translation: "A departing train") was the Monegasque entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1973, performed in French by French singer Marie.

The song is about people striking out on their own. Marie sings about a girl from rural France who is boarding a train to Paris in the hope that she will find work there, despite not knowing exactly what she will do. The departing train, she sings, "is a bit like a home...For one who has never known home". ( Full article...)

Selected religion article

The location of Monaco (dark green, in circle) in Europe

The history of the Jews in Monaco goes back at least a century, most notably to the time of the Holocaust. Monaco had a very small Jewish presence before World War II, numbering approximately 300 people. During the war, the principality's government issued false identity papers to its Jewish residents to protect them from Nazi deportation. Prince Louis II refused to dismiss Jewish civil servants and protected Édouard de Rothschild from deportation. However, Monaco's police arrested and turned over 42 Central European Jewish refugees to the Nazis. 60 Jews were arrested Aug 27–28 in 1942, and 90 in total, according to "The Algemeiner".

In 1948, the Association Cultuelle Israelite de Monaco was founded as the official organization of Monaco's Jewish community, and it provides the community with a synagogue, Hebrew school and kosher food store. Today's Jewish community in Monaco consists primarily of retirees from France and the United Kingdom, and there is also a small population of North African and Turkish Jews. ( Full article...)

Selected sports article

Lucas Ademar Bernardi (born 27 September 1977) is an Argentine former professional footballer and manager. He played as a defensive midfielder. ( Full article...)

Selected education article

The International School of Monaco is a primary and secondary school in Monaco, for foreign and Monegasque children. The school was founded in 1994, and offers a bi-lingual education in French and English.

The school is located on Quai Antoine 1er in the center of Monaco. The youngest pupils are taught half in English and half in French. English takes precedence for older students. ( Full article...)

Selected transportation article

Line 2 at a bus stop

Transport in Monaco is facilitated with road, air, rail, and water networks. Rail transport is operated by SNCF and its total length is 1.7 km. Monaco has five bus routes operated by Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco. There are also two other bus routes which connect Monaco with neighboring regions such as Nice and Menton. ( Full article...)

Selected biography

Romeo Acquarone (1895 – 1980) was a professional tennis player born in Monaco. He became a French citizen in 1937. Acquarone won the Bristol Cup in France in 1920 (beating Joseph Negro in the final). The Bristol Cup was the top professional tournament in the world in the 1920s. ( Full article...)

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