The Principality of Monaco (Principauté de Monaco) is a small European country. Its importance is greater than other sovereign states of similar size. Only the State of the Vatican City is smaller. The principality is located along the coast between Liguria and Provence only 10 km from the border with Italy. It is completely surrounded to the north, east and west by French territory, facing the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
Governed except for a few interludes from 1297 by the Grimaldi dynasty, it is today a hereditary constitutional monarchy. In the past the territory of the principality was much larger and extended eastward to include today’s French towns of Menton (Mentone) and Roquebrune (Roccabruna).
There are four villages, which make up principality: The capital Monaco, the towns of Monte Carlo, Fontvieille and La Condamine. The country is densely populated. Too meet the growing demand for land to build new housing, land was reclaimed from the Mediterranean Sea in recent years.
Tourism has always played a significant part in the economy of the country. Financial assets have become increasingly important thanks to a favorable tax policy. Industry is expanding through chemical, pharmaceutical, mechanical, textile and clothing plants.
The Principality of Monaco is considered to be – due to its fiscal policy, which does not practice a personal taxation – one of the tax havens in Europe. The revenues generated by gambling – practiced in the famous Casino, which was opened in 1863 – are an important source of income of this tiny state.
English text correction by Dietrich Köster.
- Area: 1.97 sq km
- Population: 33.000 (French 47%, Monégasques 16%, Italians 16%).
- State Capital: Monaco
- Languages: The official language of Monaco is French. The national language is Monégasque. Italian is also spoken.
- Religion: Catholicism, Judaism (4,5%).
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Time: UTC+1, Summer Daylight saving time UTC+2.