Rolls-Royce Land (part 3)
They collected everything from painting to nautical charts, from historical archives to skeletons of extinct animals. Prince Rainier III is a passionate lover of antique cars: his collection of more than 100 vintage cars is exhibited in the exhibition hall in Fontvieille.
Already in the twentieth century, the southern wing of the palace was built, where the apartments of the Crown Prince are now located. It also houses the exposition of the Napoleon Museum with a unique collection of objects and personal belongings of the emperor, as well as the palace archives of the Grimaldi dynasty, letters and manuscripts of Charles V, Louis XIV, Richelieu, a collection of old military uniforms, coins, postage stamps, paintings and engravings.
The princely palace is framed by a magnificent park with mighty centuries-old trees and ancient fountains. The main facade of the palace overlooks the square, where the ceremonial change of the guard takes place. An amazing panorama of the principality, the surrounding mountains and the entire Ligurian coast up to the Italian Riviera opens from it.
On one of the highest and most picturesque points of the Old Town stands the majestic white stone Cathedral of the mid-19th century. Here lies the remains of Princess Grace. In memory of her, a magnificent rose garden is planted in Fontviel near the sea, where 4,000 roses of 180 varieties are planted.
Monaco – the state of museums
Oceanographic Museum in MonacoMy reputation as the largest scientific and cultural center of Monaco owes much to the grandfather of the reigning monarch, Prince Albert I – a talented scientist, major collector and philanthropist. It was he who founded the Museum of Anthropology here at the beginning of the century, where a collection of prehistoric skeletons and fossilized remains of extinct animals found in ancient caves on the territory of the principality is exhibited. It is thanks to his efforts on the rock of Monaco (at a 100-meter height) that the Exotic Garden, one of the most visited tourist attractions of the Principality, was broken. In the mild, fertile climate of Monaco, flowers from all over the world and thousands of amazing plants, from dwarf to ten-meter, have perfectly taken root of unprecedented beauty. At a 60-meter depth beneath the Exotic Garden, there is a prehistoric cave open to the public – the former home of an ancient man.
And finally, Prince Albert I was the founder of the Oceanographic Museum – the pride of the principality. Curious specimens of sea shells and corals collected by him, collections of navigation tools, models of ships and sea charts formed the basis of the museum’s exposition, which is located in a magnificent building built in 1910. And the Marinarium makes an absolutely stunning impression, where almost 4,000 fish and marine animals live in 90 pools with sea water. Until recently, the permanent head of the museum was Jacques-Yves Cousteau – the most famous explorer of the deep sea in the world.
On both sides of the museum lies the magnificent natural park of St. Martin, laid back in 1830. On the open terrace of the park stands a bronze monument to Prince Albert I.
The casino rules there
Monte Carlo Casino Another 150 years ago, the Principality of Monaco was a quiet settlement, where the main occupations were fishing and agriculture.
This situation did not suit the then monarch – Prince Florestan. After consulting with French colleagues, he zealously took up the “perestroika”. However, Florestan decided to go even further and turn the principality into a concentration of beautiful life and exquisite taste, that is, into a “bait” for the wealthiest and most sophisticated people, in a word, for the elect. The farsighted prince set the first paragraph in his project as a casino.
The most famous casino in the world of Monte Carlo was built in 1864 on a site of rocky wasteland, purchased from the previous owner at a ridiculous price – 22 centimes per square meter. Initially, the building was a small villa, which was then rebuilt and expanded several times. Inside the casino, among the lavishly decorated interiors, are tables for roulette and card games, slot machines. The size of bets can be judged at least by the string of Rolls-Royces waiting for their owners at the entrance. And what human tragedies were played out under the magnificent arches of this monastery of excitement, one can only guess. Living a happy, tax-free, political and economic turmoil of life, Monacian subjects have to suppress an innate sense of excitement: the law prohibits them from visiting the casino.