Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Traveling on the Côte d'Azur, one day we spent in one of the smallest countries in the world - Monaco. We went to all the main attractions and most took home a stack of coins from Monaco, visited the graves of princes, admired sharks in the aquarium, walked along the harbor and even went to the casino lobby "Monte Carlo", so today I have something to tell you.

At the entrance to the casino "Monte Carlo." To immediately understand the difference between Monaco and Monte Carlo even before I start throwing these names in full, explains: Monaco - a state that one of the "cities" (communes) which bears the name of Monte Carlo. Monaco - a completely built-up area of land area of 2 square kilometers, so the division into the city here would be only provisional. Would be correct to speak of communes. Monaco officially consists of three municipalities: Monaco-Ville (ie city of Monaco), La Condamine and Monte Carlo. The latter is the world famous casino of the same name.

View from the fortress in Monaco-Ville on La Condamine. Right begins Monte Carlo.

Monaco - one of the smallest countries in the world. To be precise, Monaco ranked 193 th out of 194 countries in the world in area and 210 th out of 226 countries and territories in terms of population. Length of Monaco is 4 km, the width is narrowed in some places up to 200 meters! And all this space closely built-up high-rise concrete buildings! Due to the incredibly high cost of land in Monaco station had to be moved ... into the rock!

Escalator brings me to the exit from the underground station of Monaco.

Tourists coming to Monaco by train from France or Italy, on arrival will only see the underground station, resembling dull subway station. Maps of the city on the platform there is no where to go - is unknown. The station was dug in the rock is based on the longest existing trains, so walk along the platform towards the exit of the station takes a full five minutes! If the length of the tunnel in Monaco is 1700 meters, then at least a third of the area reserved for the platform. Since the station is in the rock, to the exit is necessary to pass through a long pedestrian tunnel equipped with a horizontal escalators, as the airport. From the station you can go through the main exit, which we have successfully ignored (since the index was written in French), and believing the guise of "old town" and my instinct geographical applicable even under the ground, we headed to the exit towards exotic gardens. Ten minutes walk to the cave, we came to the surface. Here we were met by a closed kiosk with tourist information available.

That's the way looked out of the station, near which we came to the surface.

After leaving the underground station, we found that we were on the roof of a house. Monaco is situated on the cliffs, and the houses are built so close to each other that even the streets are often held on the roofs of houses.

And here is how the main entrance to the station. Passes over the bridge at the top of road. Behind the Church of Saint Devote - an early Christian martyr whose body wave in the boat arrived in the bay of Monaco.

The first thing we wanted to see the old part of Monaco - Monaco-Ville, which houses the fortress, the Cathedral and the Museum of Oceanography. After performing the cultural program, we would like to pass along the port in the center of Monaco, La Condamine, and walk to the famous Casino, located at the opposite end of the country, in the municipality of Monte Carlo.

View of the palace / fortress Prince of Monaco.

As in all the other towns along the French Riviera, Monaco fortress occupies a dominant position in the landscape of the city-state. From the rock on which stands the fortress opens unobstructed view of both sides of the state. On the square before the palace, which is still home to the current Prince of Monaco, constantly marching guards, although their gait hardly a march. Their actions they produce in a very imposing form. However, I am not an expert on the drill sergeant and my perception is subject to the prism of subjectivity with a large angle of refraction.

Prince's Palace of Monaco.

Looking from the cliffs on both sides of Monaco, one must be careful to note where it ends and begins Monaco France. The border between the two countries, as such, does not exist. It is clearly defined on political maps, but on land it is no marked. Satellite image below clearly seen that the boundary between the states in some places, walking down the street. That is, it may be that you and your neighbors across the street are living in different countries and pay accordingly, different levels of taxes. By the way, low taxation - one of the main factors why so many people are dreaming to get a residence permit in Monaco.

Pay attention to the fact that the border between France and Monaco passes on the street!

Here, on a rock near the lookout is the prince's palace. The current Prince of Monaco Albert II name of the genus Grimaldi. For centuries, the Grimaldi Genoa fought for the throne, while acquiring and losing different ownership and in Liguria on the Italian island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. In Monaco Grimaldi appeared in 1297. On the site of today's Monaco in the 13th century there was a fortified monastery. A François Grimaldi was forced to flee from Genoa. Hiding behind robes, he reached the monastery on the rock on which today stands the fortress of Monaco and under the guise of a monk asked to enter. When he was let in, he pulled out from under his robe and sword to seize power in the monastery. Albeit grim, but pretty typical story of the Middle Ages.

Monument Francesco Grimaldi in a cassock, out of which he drew his sword (left) and guard, stepping in front of the palace.

Until the 17th century feudal vassal of Monaco was the Republic of Genoa. In 1997, Monaco celebrated 700 years of continuous rule Grimaldi. Grimaldi today - one of the oldest European royal birth, and the previous Prince Rainier was third European monarch with the longest period of government in 55 years.

On the square before the palace placed the gun with nuclei.

The turbulent history of that rainy night, when Francesco Grimaldi was first climbed on a rock over the future of Monaco, it is best to imagine standing on top of the rock itself. In the northern part of the cliff is the palace of the prince, and the vast expanse before him occupies. Probably, it is the largest square in Monaco! On both sides of the area ends at the precipice before which benches and pay binoculars. From the rock can be seen almost everything Monaco and even France!

Opposite the Palace of the Prince of Monaco in the square starts the oldest district of Monaco: Monaco-Ville.

Viewing platform opens, perhaps the best view of Monaco.

From the square in the direction takes a few narrow medieval streets. On them you can go through the oldest district of Monaco and reach the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, which buried the representatives of the princely family of Monaco. Among them, the church remains of Princess Grace, the famous American actress Grace Kelly, became the wife of Prince Rainier and the third to take the citizenship of Monaco. Princess has done much to lift the image of Monaco. In memory of her activism in the city placed signs with photographs taken in the exercise of its social debt princess.

On the streets of the old part of Monaco.

Although the Cathedral of St. Nicholas and the old seems at first glance, it looks can be deceiving. It was built in 1875 in neo-Romanesque style. To my surprise, I found inside the cathedral Orthodox icon: the gift of the Ukrainian government to Prince of Monaco.

The round building on the right before the palace of the Prince of Monaco, and the building on the left sits the parliament.

In a small two-story stone building next to the cathedral before parliament met in Monaco. From him down the mountain leads the Rue Saint-Martin, on which you can walk to the Museum of Oceanography. Prince Albert of Monaco was first fascinated by geography and financed a large number of research expeditions around the world. Among other things, most of all he was interested in the underwater world. Together with Jacques Cousteau, he even fell into the water.

View of the Parliament from the steps of the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. The cathedral itself was unable to photograph - he stands too close to the edge.

Prince Albert has spent large sums of money for the development of underwater science. As he built a museum on the edge of the cliff above the Mediterranean Sea located aquarium and museum exploring the underwater world. Oceanarium occupies the lower two floors. In the fish swim the most incredible fish from different parts of the world - from the tropics to England. On the upper floors of exhibits related to the expedition to the North Pole and the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Travel stories illustrated with photographs of Prince Albert the Great. Under each photo is signed by: His Excellency Prince Albert First (His Serene Highness Prince Albert I). From the last floor of the museum you can climb to the roof and cast a glance at the central part of Monaco and the harbor.

In a huge aquarium in the center of the room is spinning jamb groupers and aquariums around the room full of fish from different climatic zones.

Clown fish invariably resemble the main character from the animated film "Finding Nemo."

Grimaldi ruled Monaco until now. We know how very rich Monaco principality, a state with one of the highest per capita income. The word "Monaco" and "Monte Carlo" for most are synonymous with luxury and wealth is above average, although most of us never been there. This is because: Monaco boasts the highest GDP per capita of 172 000 US dollars. For comparison: Germany's GDP is 37 000 Ukraine - 7200.

Another view from the roof of the museum oceanography.

Although this idea of Monaco entirely correspond to reality, it should be remembered that the rich life here was not always so. Over the centuries, a small autonomous principalities receive income from fishing and collecting tribute from passing merchant ships shore wills. Of course, this way of life was at threat of extinction in the XIX century, in the age of textile and heavy industry and, above all, the railway. Principality saved all famous casino, which has become a "cash cow" for the budget of a small principality, but the path from idea to the casino's first commercial success was extremely long.

The view from the observation deck in a westerly direction. 500 meters from here begins France.

Casino "Monte Carlo" was built in 1865 on a free from buildings cliff overlooking the sea. In the same building as the game room is the Opera House. Casino lobby and cloakroom Opera can be visited free of charge on the Rights of the tourist, if you go into the building through the main entrance, which we did.

General view of the municipality of La Condamine. Right begins municipality of Monte Carlo.

The idea to open a casino owned by the wife of Prince Florestan First Princess Caroline. Monaco was on the verge of bankruptcy in mind the loss of the territory of Menton. Menton, brought the bulk of revenues to the treasury, in 1848, broke away from Monaco and became a French territory. Casino should compensate for the loss of tax revenue from Menton. To attract investors, the new Prince Albert of Monaco has attracted first two French entrepreneurs and gave them the right to a 30-year tax-free use of the territory for the construction of a casino and spa.

View of the central part of Monaco, La Condamine.

The chances of success of the enterprise was little. Mountain principality had been cut off from the network of French roads. The first years of the casino do not generate revenue, and had no permanent building, constantly moving from one house to another. Investors have changed one by one, reselling their right to gambling, while Princess Caroline did not take matters into their own hands and talked administrator casino in the German town of Bad Homburg move to Monaco. New Managing renamed in honor of the prince casino Charles the First, "Monte Carlo" ("Mount Charles") and built a new building on the rock, where the casino is now. The architect of the new building was invited by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Paris Opera. After that, the success of the casino does not have to wait long. To this day, the Monte Carlo casino is almost the main source of income of the principality. At the same time citizens of Monaco gambling is strictly prohibited by law.

View of the casino "Monte Carlo" from the end.

The casino has a strict dress control. It can not come in batches with a mask for diving, even if you have a "Rolls Royce", simply because each guest has a "Rolls Royce"! Day requirements for clothing drop and play in the famous casino can be anyone tourist. Entrance to the casino, according to unconfirmed my data, costs 10 euros.

"Ferarri" podezzhaet the entrance to the casino "Monte Carlo".

Players approaching the entrance to the casino on their expensive cars. While we looked at the building, we drove past the three "Ferrari" and several "Porsche", not counting all the "Mercedes" and jeeps "Range Rover". Before the casino is parking for visitors. Guest leaves his mnogosottysyachny transport the stairs and passes key receptionist who puts the car into the parking lot.

The picture on the cover.

On the square in front of the casino has a fountain in the shape of a bowl. In the curved mirror surface is reflected casino building. Due to the special form of sculpture, from any angle in the area of that part where the building is located, in the reflection will necessarily be seen casinos.

Fountain in the shape of a bowl. Its surface appears facade casino "Monte Carlo."

On the east side of the square goes "Hotel de Paris". This hotel - not least the famous landmark of the city than the casino. It stopped all the most respectable guests principality and fans to try their luck with a game of roulette. On the opposite side of the square is located "Café de Paris", another institution with a history and one of the few really old buildings in Monte Carlo.

"Cafe de Paris" on the square in front of the casino "Monte Carlo."

Of Monaco There are many legends, many of them in nature is more like a fable than real history. For example, in Monaco, have a special status subjects prince. Monaco passport holders are called monakantsami as opposed to natives of Monaco, who were awarded the term Monegasque. Monakantsev there are 7,000 people, get Monegasque nationality is almost impossible. Due to strict laws Monaco population is growing very little pace. Compared with Cannes, where since 1850 the population has grown by 14 times, the population of Monaco during the same period increased only 2.5 times. Residents of Monaco are exempt from taxation, many services are free. For example, during my visit on the waterfront of Monte Carlo acted rink, the entrance to which is for the residents of the principality was free. Sheer formality, but it creates an aura of sublime citizenship status of Monaco.

Rink on the waterfront of Monaco. Login to monakantsev (citizens of Monaco) free.

About to become a citizen of Monaco, we are not talking, but even willing to settle in this country expect meticulous verification. Firstly, to settle in Monaco permitted only very wealthy and influential individuals. Money in the account in your own bank applicant is not enough. To apply for accommodation must be put to the account of the Bank of Monaco a certain amount of money. All the details of this procedure, I do not know, but I know that a large income is not enough to get the right to live in Monaco. It needs to be a man who wanted to see the principality in their ranks. Remember profiles on job search, where asking why you are a good candidate? Approximately the same rule applies for a permit to reside in Monaco. Despite the complexity of the procedure wishing to settle in Monaco enough, because in Monaco there is no tax on income, and taxes on business is very low.

In the commune of La Condamine near the harbor.

On the question of money. Currency in Monaco - euro. Monaco even issues its own coins, which, in view of the small size of the state, very little in use, so they are highly valued. For example, a set of 8 coins for sale in Nuremberg for 75 euros! Prior to 2002, in Monaco circulated Monegasque franc equated 1 to 1 French franc. After joining the euro area Monaco lost the right to mint its own coins. Now, for them it makes the French Mint. Quota Monaco coins in the total amount of French euro is 1 to 500.

Monument Formula 1, which takes place annually on the streets of Monaco - one of the smallest countries in the world!

Monaco is part of the Schengen area, so the border controls between Monaco and France does not. This is not surprising: if they wanted to check every passing by a 1.7-km tunnel train is impossible, besides the train enters a tunnel in the rock under the More Monaco in France. In Monaco, there is only one station, the station "Monaco Monte Carlo," which even visually no different from the French railway stations.

Parking near the Princess Grace Theatre.

Let us return to the question of the right of residence in Monaco. Judging by the volume of construction, wishing to settle or even to take possession of flats in Monaco, abound. It would seem: high demand and wealthy customers - what else is needed for a bold architectural ideas and unusual design? Unfortunately, it is not. In Monaco, build, as in Kiev - without taking into account the existing historical character, despite the principle of green areas and ignoring a century of experience Mediterranean architecture. In construction is dominated by concrete, plastic windows and decorative drywall, which is glued on top of the plaster to give the building the appearance of antiquity. On the walls are glued fake pilasters, under the balcony - trim, over the windows - the triangular tympanum, like buildings with plastic windows recently turned one hundred and fifty years. Very old houses are built cheeky extra floor "in a similar style," although few such cases, since the old houses in Monte Carlo almost did not survive.

View from the roof of the Museum of Oceanography. Here you can see what style of architecture prevalent in Monaco.

Living in Monaco goes to spread my ideas about the rich life. In Monaco, do not walk around the streets, sidewalks here in rarity. The movement is on the cars. The city also operates a network of bus routes, but it is designed, most likely on the visitors' guest workers. " By the way, in Monaco employs 45,000 jobs out of a population of 30 000. The Principality Most of the labor force in Monaco arrives daily to the city by train. Parks in Monaco almost there, except for the botanical park "Exotic Gardens» (Jardin Exotique), located in Monaco-Ville near the Museum of Oceanography.

In the botanical garden of Monaco - one of the few green areas of the principality.

Due to lack of space in the principality of Monaco embankment used as a marina. Walking along the waterfront, where on the one hand race car, and on the other hand full of life in the harbor, it is unpleasant. Monaco - it's not a place where you want to walk for a long time. That is, no one does. Basic life flows near the casino.

The whole territory of the Principality of Monaco closely built up with houses, as metropolis.

So I found one day in Monaco. Monaco seemed to me a kind of toy agreement European countries, decided to leave for your entertainment a little piece of land where you can have fun, gambling, dating unparalleled, eat steak for 50 euros and go on expensive "Ferrari". All the others can dream of an apartment in Monaco, though, as for me, in the vicinity of Monaco (that is already in France) have at home is much more high-end, as in the architectural sense, and location. Alas, there will have to pay taxes.

View of the harbor of Monaco.