Mônaco é um país do Sul da Europa. A capital é Mônaco. A principal religião é o Cristianismo (Catolicismo). A língua nacional é o Francês. Os Genoveses construíram uma fortaleza no local da atual Monaco em 1215. A atual família governante Grimaldi garantiu o controle no final do século 13, e um principado foi estabelecido em 1338. O desenvolvimento econômico foi impulsionado no final do século 19 com uma ligação ferroviária à França e a abertura de um casino. Desde então, o clima ameno do principado, o esplêndido cenário, e as facilidades de jogo fizeram Monaco mundialmente famoso como um centro turístico e de lazer.
Monaco is the second smallest independent state in the world, after Vatican City. Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, it occupies a tiny corner of southwestern Europe, surrounded on three sides by France. Monaco is home to the Grand Prix auto race, the Monte Carlo casino, and a celebrity ruling family.
LAND AND PEOPLE
Monaco occupies only 0.7 sq. mi. (1.9 sq. km.)—about half of the area of New York City's Central Park. The land forms a natural amphitheater as it slopes from rocky cliffs to the country's 3-mi. (5-km.)-long coastline, the beautiful Côte d'Azur, or "azure coast." The principality enjoys about 300 sunny days a year.
Monaco has a population of under 31,000 people. About 85 percent of residents are noncitizens, mostly French and Italian. Roman Catholicism is the official religion. The veneration of Saint Devote, a 4th-century woman martyr, is the most popular religious tradition. Education is compulsory for ages 6 through 16.
WAY OF LIFE
The capital, Monaco-Ville, is on a rocky promontory, more than 200 ft. (60 m.) above sea level. There, in addition to the castle, is the world-famous Oceanographic Museum, founded by Prince Albert I, the forebear of the present prince. A fine scientist, Prince Albert started Monaco on its way to becoming a center for modern oceanographic research. Albert also began the Exotic Gardens, which grow on the slopes of a rocky cliff. The gardens contain one of the world's finest collections of subtropical and semidesert flora.
This little country offers a great variety of sporting and cultural events. There is the Monaco Grand Prix, an annual event in which some of the world's greatest automobile racers speed through the hilly, winding city streets. The opera house, which is a part of the Grand Casino building, was the scene of the original presentations by the famed Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo of some of the masterpieces produced by the great choreographer Sergei Diaghilev. It was also the site of the first productions of a number of world-renowned operas.
Monaco is the site of an imaginative urban-renewal program. In 1964, the railroad that ran through Monaco was rerouted underground. The entire seafront area was rebuilt. And an area of 1,000,000 sq. ft. (93,000 square meters) of land was reclaimed from the sea by filling in the shore-line with soil from nearby French hillsides and with rock from the 2-mi. (3-km.) underground tunnel that was blasted out of a hillside to accommodate the railroad. A new highway was constructed, and new hotels, apartments, and restaurants were built. The program continued with a larger reclaimed area beyond the rock, which provided additional industrial sites and more land for high-rise luxury hotels. They house visitors who come to this miniature nation where, as Colette, the famous French novelist, said, the "frontiers are only flowers."
The economic life of Monaco is based on the same ingenuity that has kept the country independent. This is a state that has no national debt, very limited income taxes, and no taxes on inheritances.
What is the basis for the fiscal magic? Profits from tourists who flock here to enjoy the delightful weather are most important. For most of the year, the streets of Monaco are filled with foreigners. And the sparkling waters of the harbor are full of pleasure craft flying flags from countries all over the world. The government also profits from the sale of tobacco, and from sales, customs, and business taxes.
A large amount of revenue comes from the sale of postage stamps. Ever since Monaco's first stamps were issued in 1860, collectors have prized the many artistic series illustrating the principality's famous landmarks and its major activities.
At one time, Monte Carlo's glittering casino accounted for three-quarters of Monaco's revenue, but it is now much less. Despite limited space, the principality has a prosperous industrial community in the section called Fontvielle, near the western boundary. There, cosmetics, perfumes, elegant clothing, jewelry, fine art books, chocolates, and small precision instruments are produced. The bustling business section around the port is called La Condamine.
HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT
The coat of arms of the Grimaldi Family, showing two monks with raised swords, commemorates the capture of the fortress. In 1297, François ( "the Malicious" ) Grimaldi, a member of a powerful family that had been exiled from Genoa, Italy, came to the gate of the town disguised as a monk and begged admittance. An armed band entered with him and conquered the town. Since then Monaco has belonged to the Grimaldis, except for a few brief periods; one of them was from 1793 until 1814, when Monaco was annexed to France.
Since the early 20th century, Monaco has been a constitutional monarchy. According to a law that was in force until 2005, if the reigning prince should die without a male heir, the principality would be incorporated into France. In 1956, Prince Rainier III married Grace Kelly, a popular American actress. They had three children: Princess Caroline, Prince Albert (heir apparent, born 1958), and Princess Stephanie.
In 1982, Princess Grace died in an auto accident. Prince Rainier passed away in early April 2005. He was succeeded by his son, Albert II. At the same time, a new law concerning succession took effect. If the prince, at that point unmarried, died without a legitimate heir, the throne would pass to his siblings and their descendants. In 2011, Prince Albert married Charlene Wittlock, a former South African competitive swimmer.
The constitution of 1962 provides for an elected 24-member National Council. The council shares legislative and executive power with the prince.
Consulat General de Monaco, New York