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Sunday, 12 June 2016


On January 8 1297, the Genoese leader of the Guelphs Francesco Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, led his men to capture the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco. In doing so Grimaldi established his family as the rulers of Monaco.

Rainier I of Grimaldi - first souvereign Grimaldi ruler of Monaco

Since gaining its independence from the Republic of Genoa in 1297, Monaco has been ruled by the Grimaldi family, making that line the oldest ruling family in Europe.

The state's sovereignty was officially recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861, with Monaco becoming a full United Nations voting member in 1993.

In 2002, the constitutional monarchy of Monaco signed a treaty with France allowing it to remain an independent nation, even if the family should stop producing heirs.

Despite Monaco's independence and separate foreign policy, its defense is the responsibility of France. However, Monaco does maintain two small military units.

Monaco is one of three city-states in the world. The other two are Monaco and Vatican City.

The National Orchestra of Monaco has more members than its army.

Monaco is so small it covers only 350 acres and is the second smallest country in the world. (The tiniest is Vatican City.) It takes just under an hour (about 56 minutes, actually) to walk the width of Monaco.

Satellite view of Monaco, with the Monégasque-French border shown in yellow

Monaco has only 3.5 miles of coastline, less than any other non-landlocked country.

People native to Monaco are called Monegasque.

Monaco's total population was 37,800 in 2014  It is the country with the highest population density at nearly 50,000 people per square mile. That’s less than 560 square feet each.

The largest group are French nationals at 28.4%, followed by Monegasque (21.6%), Italian (18.7%), British (7.5%), Belgian (2.8%), German (2.5%), Swiss (2.5%) and U.S. nationals (1.2%).

Monaco has the world's highest life expectancy at nearly 90 years.

Monaco’s flag looks exactly like Indonesia’s, except for one slight difference: Indonesia’s is wider.

It has the highest Human Development Index (HDI) in the world and the only HDI above 1, at 1.074.

Monaco has the largest police force in the world per capita.

The country of Monaco has the most millionaires and billionaires per capita.

Monaco’s biggest attraction is the Casino de Monte Carlo. Citizens, however, are not allowed to enter the building.

Casino de Monte Carlo

Monaco is well known as a tax haven. It was able to stop collecting income tax back in 1869 as the country's casino raked in more than enough cash to sustain government operations.

The first Monte Carlo rally — brainchild of Prince Albert I of Monaco — was won by the French driver Henri Rougier on January 21, 1911.

Monaco is the host of the annual street circuit motor race Monaco Grand Prix, one of the original Grands Prixs of Formula One. Drivers in the Monaco Grand Prix must shift gear 54 times each lap. at 78 laps, that's 4,200 times in total.

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