History of the Principality

The earliest traces of human presence in Monaco go back about 300,000 years.

Monaco’s first settlers were Ligurian. Marseilles Greeks, originally from Phocaea (modern-day Foça in Turkey), founded the colony of Monoïkos in the 6th Century BC. After the Gallic Wars, Monoecus, where Julius Caesar paused on his way to Greece, became part of the Roman Empire within the Gallia Narbonensis province.

During the Middle-Age, Monaco remained under Roman rule until the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD. Subsequently, the Saracens were expelled from Monaco in 975 AD and the area was inhabited again by the Ligurians in the 11th Century.

In 1191, the Germanic Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI, granted sovereign rule over Monaco to the city of Genoa, Italy, where the Ligurians had originated from.

On June 10th, 1215 a Ghibelline detachment led by Fulco del Cassello started the construction of a fortress on Monaco’s Rock.

On January 8th, 1297 Francis Grimaldi called Il Malizia (« the Cunning ») seized the fortress under the disguise of a Franciscan monk.

The Grimaldi’s authority was permanently recognised in 1314 and has continually been in place until today with the only exception of the 1793-1814 years, during which Monaco was a part of France under the name of Fort-Hercule.

In 1861, a Franco-Monegasque treaty affirmed the sovereignty of Monaco.

The Prince of Monaco had full powers up to the adoption of the 1911 constitution that changed Monaco’s status to a constitutional monarchy.
In 1949, Prince Rainier III came to the throne after Prince Louis II, his grand-father, had died.

In 1962, a new constitution was drafted governing the political and institutional powers of the Principality and affirming the public rights and liberties of Monegasque and foreign citizens alike.

In 1971, the first stone of the new district of Fontvieille was laid, allowing Monaco to increase its surface about 20% by land-filling the sea.

In 1993, Monaco officially became a member of the United Nations.

Since 2002, a new treaty signed between France and Monaco stipulates that the Principality is to remain an independent State should the dynasty not have an heir.

In 2004, the Principality of Monaco became part of the Council of Europe.

On April 6th 2005, upon the death of Prince Rainier III it is his son, Prince Albert II (born in 1958), who became The Sovereign Prince of Monaco.

On July 1st and 2nd, 2011 the wedding ceremonies of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene were celebrated.

On december the 10th 2014, T.S.H. Prince Albert and Princess Charlène announced the birth of H.S.H the Crown Prince Jacques and H.S.H. Princess Gabriella.