The history of the Rock of Monaco

The enchanting story of the Rock of Monaco


History and heritage of the Rock of Monaco

The Quartier du Rocher, also known as Monaco-Ville, is the historic heart of the Principality of Monaco. Nestled on a rocky promontory, this ancient district is full of history and heritage.

In the sixth century BC, the Massaliotes, Phocaeans from Massalia (now Marseille), founded the colony of Monoïkos on the Rock of Monaco. This colony was associated with Hercules, worshipped as the Hercules Monoecus.

In 1215, a detachment of Ghibellines, led by Fulco del Cassello, undertook the construction of a fortress on the Rock of Monaco with the aim of making it a strategic military position and controlling the region. Dwellings were also established at the base of the Rock to support the garrisons.

On January 8, 1297, Francis Grimaldi, descendant of Otto Canella, consul of Genoa in 1133, seized the fortress. Disguised as a Franciscan monk, he opened the doors to his soldiers and took control of the Rock. From this episode was born his nickname Malizia, which means "malice". The arms of Monaco still bear two Franciscans armed with a sword in reference to this event. It is interesting to note that the city of Monaco takes its name from the term "Monk" in Italian, due to this historical event that gave birth to this current name.

After the accession of Rainier I in 1309, his son Charles I is considered the true founder of Monaco. During his reign, Monaco acquired the lordships of Menton and Roquebrune, which considerably enlarged the territory of the Principality.

Despite setbacks, especially when Rainier II had to give way to the Genoese in 1357, the Grimaldis managed to retake Monaco in 1419 thanks to John I, son of Rainier II. Under Lambert's reign, Monaco was recognized as independent by King Charles VIII of France in 1489, thus establishing the undisputed sovereignty of the Grimaldis over the Principality after almost two centuries since the capture of the fortress by François "La Malizia".

In the following centuries, Monaco went through periods of Spanish protection and had to face significant financial burdens. However, Monaco's independence was confirmed by Louis XII of France, paving the way for a lasting alliance between the Princes of Monaco and the Kings of France.

In 1612, the title "Prince of Monaco" was first used to designate the ruler of the Principality, and Honoré II, son of Hercules, was the first to bear this title. Since then, the Grimaldi dynasty has continued to rule Monaco, preserving its independence and shaping its unique history to the present day.


These articles might interest you

plage larvotto

A renovated beach and a dynamic public space The Larvotto beach in Monaco recently reopened after a 22-month closure period. After two years of work, the Larvotto seaside resort in Monaco has completely reinvented itself. Thanks to the vision of architect Renzo Piano, the new shaded promenade offers a harmonious marriage between the urban landscape and the Mediterranean. The beach, completely renovated, is now more attractive and pleasant. This place is designed to be enjoyed throughout the year, offering a true Monegasque seaside experience.

copie de copie de copie de copie de copie de blue cyan 3d minimalist business blog banner 21

Starting a business in Monaco: your entrepreneurial project Monaco, known worldwide for its luxury and wealth, is also a popular place for entrepreneurs looking to launch their business. This micro-state offers an advantageous tax system, a strategic geographical position, as well as an excellent quality of life. If you are thinking of starting a business in Monaco, this guide is for you. We will discuss the advantages of moving to the principality, the steps necessary to create a business and the tips for success.

photos articles 16

Real estate 2023 : how are real estate sales progressing? In the first quarter of 2023, Monegasque real estate market trends recorded a significant increase in resale transactions, with 96 transactions, exceeding the previous year's period. Although the number of transactions is similar to the previous year, the total value of resales increased significantly, reaching 563 million euros, setting a new record since the first quarter of 2016.

musee oceanographique monaco 2

Discover the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco The Oceanographic Museum, located on the Rock of Monaco, is a true jewel of the Côte d'Azur. The history of the museum dates back to 1870, when Prince Albert I, nicknamed the "Learned Navigator Prince", began his oceanographic expeditions around the world.

photos articles 13

Emblematic places to visit in La Condamine Welcome to one of Monaco's most emblematic districts: La Condamine. Located in the heart of the Principality, this authentic district is a real jewel where history blends harmoniously with modernity. From its picturesque streets to its lively squares, La Condamine invites you to a unique experience, a journey to the heart of the soul of Monaco.

crem nouveaux locaux monaco

The Club of Foreign Residents of Monaco (CREM) The Club of Foreign Residents of Monaco (CREM) is a non-profit association that opened its doors on 1 June 2010. The purpose of this organisation is to facilitate the integration of foreign residents in the Principality of Monaco. CREM has established itself as a reference in the Monegasque associative landscape, offering many activities and events for its members.

These properties might interest you

petrini exclusive appartement vente monaco ville34

2 900 000 €

Discover this 3-room apartment completely renovated with luxury finishes, located in the heart of Monaco Villas and the Rock district (place where the Palace of the Prince of Monaco is located). With an area of about 80 square meters, this elegant and comfortable apartment is perfect for families. The property is accompanied by a cellar located on the same floor, thus offering additional space to organize the house.

Port Monaco

Subscribe to our newsletter and discover our
exclusive Off Market properties.

Language :
Interested in :
(* : Required information)