Rolls-Royce Land (part 2)
Perhaps he is wiser and certainly more romantic than his foreign colleagues: instead of wasting energy on politics, he fervently patronizes everything that enhances the prestige of the principality, making it the focus of brilliant social life.
Crown Prince Albert, in addition to financial management, is the patron saint of the Monte Carlo rally, tennis tournaments, annual circus and magic festivals. Princess Caroline solemnly opens exhibitions and festivals, organizes charity balls. Largely thanks to her efforts, she managed to revive the famous ballet seasons of Monte Carlo, whose origins were Diaghilev himself. Her younger sister Stephanie patronizes the pop art and modeling business.
Carelessly caring for the welfare and prestige of their state, the Monaco princes and princesses do not forget about their personal lives. The whole world follows their wild hobbies. Inspired by the dizzying novel Rainier III with a Hollywood movie star and dazzling beauty Grace Kelly, followed by a happy marriage (which, alas, interrupted the tragic death of Princess Grace in a car accident), the world “stars” do not abandon attempts to win the favor of the crown prince. Among the “star” contenders for the Monegasque crown are supermodel Claudia Schiffer and Hollywood film actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Small spool but precious
Princely Palace in Monaco Remember, the prince from the famous Andersen fairy tale said: “My state is small, but through a magnifying glass it is very clearly visible on the map.” So, if you look through a magnifying glass at a map of Monaco, then on its territory of 190 hectares (40 ha of which have been recaptured recently from the sea), you can see as many as four cities: Monaco – the capital of the principality, Monte Carlo, Condamine and the new Fontvieille district.
To get an idea of the size of the principality, you can take a walk, for example, at VDNH. True, our VDNH is still 17 hectares more spacious. And on the territory of Elk Island there would be enough space for 58 such principalities.
It is clear that these cities have no visible boundaries. Tourists determine their location simply: the Princely Palace means it is Monaco, the casino is Monte Carlo, the port is Condamine.
Where one city ends and another begins, probably only the locals know – Monegasques. Their number is small – only 20% (6 thousand people). The state endowed the Monegasques with certain benefits and advantages: for example, in the multinational Monegasque parliament only they have the right to cast a decisive vote.
Most of the population is French, many Italians, there are English, Belgians … The official language is French, but the ancient Monegasque is preserved – a kind of melodious mixture of French and Italian. In addition to French francs, there are Monegasque francs in circulation – coins that are minted mainly for tourists and numismatists.
Ancient Monegasque national and religious traditions are carefully preserved to this day. The festivities and carnivals associated with them look like colorful shows with solemn or playful processions, songs and dances, folklore and masquerade costumes, fun games and fireworks.
And every year on January 27, on the day of the Holy Martyr Devot, the patroness of Monaco, with a huge crowd of people, a ritual burning of the boat is arranged – a copy of the one that had once nailed to the local shores with the remains of the Holy Martyr on board.
Relics of the Old Town
One day is enough to slowly walk around the principality along, across and diagonally about ten to fifteen times, without depriving yourself of the pleasure of lingering along the road in the cafes that attracted us. But even a month is not enough to inspect everything in detail, to be imbued with its romantic spirit, to get acquainted with its rich history.
The old city is located on the highest cliff in the principality. In his very heart is a magnificent princely palace, the same one where Francois Grimaldi once managed to penetrate by cunning. Since the beginning of the XIII century, the palace was rebuilt and expanded several times, but to this day the battlements built by the Genoese still survived. The ceremonial halls of the palace are decorated with Italian marble, ebony, silver, gilding, silk and velvet. Beautiful frescoes, elegant furniture and numerous tapestries are of great museum value. It also houses an amazing collection of paintings by the greatest painters (more than 700 works), collected by representatives of the dynasty monarch. Among the authors are such well-known masters as Bressan, Gober, Giorgione, Holbein, Van Loo, Mignar.
Monacian princes were large and successful collectors.