Monaco, (French:), officially the Principality of Monaco, a country in Europe. It is enclosed on three sides by France; on the south it borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco surrounds a yacht harbor on the Riviera eight miles (13 km) east of Nice, near the Italian border. Monaco's area, .73 square mile (1.9 km 2), is less than that of any independent state except Vatican City. The climate is mild and sunny.
The principality consists of several sections. La Condamine is the business district and port area. Monte Carlo is the site of the Casino of Monte Carlo. Monaco-Ville (Monaco-Town), on a rocky headland, is the site of the government offices, palace, cathedral, and the noted Oceanographic Museum built by Prince Albert I.
Tourism, which flourishes throughout the year, contributes much to the economy. Monaco holds part of the interest interest in the corporation that owns the main tourist facilities, including hotels and Monte Carlo's famed casino. Chemicals, food products, plastics, electronic producs, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals are made. The sale of postage stamps to collectors also supplies revenue.
Monaco has a greater population density than any other country. Roman Catholicism is the official religion, French the official language.
|Facts in brief about Monaco|
|Official language: French.|
|Area: 0.75 mi2 (1.95 km2).|
|Population: Current estimate—34,000; density, 45,333 per mi2 (17,436 per km2); distribution, 100 percent urban, 0 percent rural. 2000 census—32,020.|
|Chief products: Chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals.|
|Flag: The civil flag has two horizontal stripes, red and white. The state flag is white with a coat of arms in the center.|
|Money: Basic unit—euro. One hundred cents equal one euro. The French franc, Monaco’s former currency, was replaced by the euro in 2002.|
Monaco is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the princes of the Grimaldi line. Under the constitution of 1962, legislative power is held by the prince and a body called the National Council. Executive power is exercised in the name of the prince by the minister of state and cabinet. The judiciary is headed by a supreme tribunal. Monaco has a customs union agreement with France and, under a 1918 treaty, coordinates its foreign policy with that of France; France, in turn, provides for national defense.
The Genoese began fortifying Monaco in 1215, and in 1297 the Grimaldi family of Genoa took control. Monaco was annexed to France during 1793–1814 and was a Sardinian protectorate during 1815–61. Prince Rainier III, who came to the throne in 1949, married American actress Grace Kelly in 1956. In the 1970's and 1980's, tourism was heavily promoted and the construction of sports and entertainment complexes made Monaco a popular convention site. In 1993 Monaco became a member of the United Nations. Prince Rainier died in 2005, and he was succeeded by Prince Albert II, his son.