The Palace of Monaco - History and Facts | History Hit

The Palace of Monaco


The Palace of Monaco began as a medieval fortress, undergoing centuries of conflict and attack before becoming a royal palace.

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About The Palace of Monaco

The Palace of Monaco (Palais Princier de Monaco) began as a medieval fortress, undergoing centuries of conflict and attack before becoming a royal palace.

History of The Palace of Monaco

The origins of the Palace of Monaco date to the 12th century, not long after the establishment of Monaco, when the Republic of Genoa agreed with German Emperor Henry IV to build a fortress there in return for the harbour. Construction of this stronghold commenced in 1215.

On 8 January 1297, the Palace of Monaco was captured by the House of Grimaldis, an aristocratic Genoese family, starting a period in which the palace would be seized and recaptured on many occasions.

Over time, the Palace of Monaco underwent several changes, with the medieval residence gradually taking on the appearance of a palace which was strongly influenced by the Italian Renaissance, then refortified in the 15th century, damaged in the early 16th, and finally fully renovated into a palace not long after.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the palace housed an extensive collection of art, especially paintings. However, having become an impressive royal home, the Palace of Monaco was devastated during the French Revolution, and was only returned to the Grimaldi family in 1814. It was then refurbished, with particular change happening at the end of the 19th century. The ceremonial rooms of the state apartments have remained largely unchanged since.

The Palace of Monaco Today

Today, visitors to the Palace of Monaco can tour the site, including the state apartments and several museums. Particular highlights include its incredible frescos, the royal courtyard and the Mirror Gallery. Much of the Palace of Monaco has echoes of Versailles, making it an especially beautiful palace. There is also a museum of antique cars and a museum of Napoleonic souvenirs.

The palace is also currently undergoing a major restoration of its interior and exterior painted decorations, with the aim of improving the visitor experience. The approach taken by the restoration team is intended to respect both the environment and the integrity of the historical heritage.

Getting to The Palace of Monaco

From the centre of Monaco, the palace is reachable in around 5-10 minutes via Avenue de la Porte Neuve. By foot, it takes around 20 minutes via Rue Grimaldi.

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