Photos and article: Senem Peace

After a long gap, I am starting to post new destinations on Vonderlusta. There’s so much added up on my hand for a while, but I could’nt manage myself to sort them out. Today I decided to start with Monaco; the land of nobility and wealth…

I was full of prejudice before I went to Monaco. I can say that I am not so into yachts, luxurious cars and champagne… I was expecting a place full of luxury without a soul. I was wrong.

Monaco was built on huge rocks facing the Medditerranean Sea. Although so many constructions still on going on this small land, it is not irritating you as aesthetics and beauty is still the keyword of this city-state. You can still feel the history laying beneath, at the same time you enjoy the modern luxury. And it is so surprising to see a huge world has fit on this litle land. Literally a huge world! Besides all the stars and jet-sets, notable history, fashion, endless buildings on top of one another, amazing gardens, gourmet delicacies, sports, beautiful sea and misty peaks…

 

Monaco’s name is origined from “Monoikos” and goes back to 6th century BC to a Greek colony. Roughly it means “single house” and there is a myth about it too. While Hercules was passing through the area, he turned away from the previous gods and a temple in the name of Hercules was built. Name of this temple was Hercules Monoikos. So it used to be by itself all the time maybe. A single city-state, creating its unending wealth, independent and surrounded by a single country.

What I learned about the history of Monaco is, from Holy Roman Empire to Repubic of Genoa it changed hands. It was refounded on 1215 as a colony of Genoa, and in 1297 the House of Grimaldi started to rule Monaco. In 1641 it is named officially as Principality of Monaco and in 1815 it gained its status today.

The traces of House of Grimaldi, who founded the Principality of Monaco, is still powerful in this city-state. Especially Palais du Prince, the palace of Grimaldi for over 700 years, is one of the most known landmarks. Centuries old and was formerly a fortress, Palais du Prince, was witnessed another milestone in Monaco’s history too: The epic marriage of III. Rainier and Grace Kelly. After this marriage all the attention of world focused on this small city-state. Monaco became an attraction centre for the rich and the luxurious afterwards…

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Monaco-Ville / Photo: Senem Peace

Monaco was divided into three municipalities in the beginning. Monaco-Ville, Monte Carlo and La Condamine. Then seven more added, as the city-state can’t stop growing in itself. All this new constractions, which seem like they will continue till eternity, also is a sign of the demand to this vital organic place I think.

Especially in Monaco-Ville, fairy tale like history is still in charge. When you walk through the streets of Monaco-Ville, you think of the medieval epic battles, warriors ands kings, intercepting with movie stars and hidden treasures. This colourful history, today garnished with ultra luxury, casinos and Formula 1. If you are a fan of motorsports, especially in the principal residential and resort area, Monte Carlo is for you. With your car you can drive around the Grand Prix Street Circuit through the city. Of course without speeding… As my husband never misses any of the Formula 1 races, Monte Carlo was like a paradise for him. It is entertaining to be in Monte Carlo with who knows so much about Formula 1 and tells you the significant moments of the Formula 1 history.

Of course it is not Formula 1 bringing people to Monaco. The festivals, culture, Monte Carlo Rally, football, rugby, Michelin starred retaurants are also strengthen the hearthbeat of Monaco besides Casinos and marinas with million dollar yachts…

You might think that Monaco is very very expensive, but it is not that bad. It is quite affordable if you go there out of racing season. Good food, nice deep fresh Mediterranean Sea, lively atmosphere and a constant feeling of relaxation is what you will get in Monaco.

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Monaco-Ville / Photo: Senem Peace

Be sure to visit Palais du Prince, Oceanographic Museum, Opera de Monte Carlo, Monaco Cathedral, Monte Caro Casino, Cafe de Paris, spectacular gardens like Lardin Exotique, Jardin Japonais and the antique car collection of III. Rainier…

 

 

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