The Principality of Monaco is a small independent state situated on the French Riviera and historically linked to France. The Constitution of December 1962 defines Monaco as a state with a constitutional monarchy, governed by the Prince. According to the heredity principle, the throne is reserved for the direct and legitimate descendent of the reigning Prince. H.S.H Prince Albert II is the current reigning monarch of Monaco. In 2005, he succeeded his father, Prince Rainier III.
With an area of 2.02 km2, Monaco is traditionally divided into four quarters. Monaco-Ville (or ‘the Rock’) is the historical centre of the Principality with the Prince’s Palace, Saint Nicholas Cathedral and the magnificent Oceanographic Museum built right on the edge of ‘the Rock.’ For 30 years, the legendary Jacques Cousteau directed the museum. Another quarter, La Condamine, borders the main port of Monaco, Port Hercules. Monte-Carlo is probably the chicest area of the Principality. The rich and famous come here to see and be seen, try their luck at the Casino de Monte-Carlo, or enjoy fine dining at Michelin-starred Louis XV. This is also the main destination for tourists and shopping lovers as all the exclusive boutiques are located here.
Fontvieille is the newest quarter, artificially made at the end of the 20th century. The area includes the local Circus, the Princess Grace Rose Garden, the Heliport, the stadium Louis-II and a spacious shopping centre.
As of 31 December 2015, the population of Monaco was estimated at 38,400 people, including 9,051 native Monegasques. The French represent about 30% of the population.
Monaco’s official language is French. However, English and Italian are often spoken by the residents who hail from Italy, England, Canada and the US. The traditional national language, Monegasque, is a variety of Ligurian dialect usually spoken by the eldest generation and taught in the public schools of the Principality.
Currency – Euro
Religion – Catholicism
National Day – November 19
Motto – Deo Juvante, which means “With God’s help”