Gouvernement Princier de Monaco
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Monaco - Prince's Palace

Begun in 1215, work to build the ramparts of the Monegasque Rocher produced a fortress made out of four imposing towers connected to one another by a curtain wall which was eight metres high from the ground. A wall surrounding the entire Rocher then a second fortress were quickly built as an addition.

According to a founding legend, the fortress was taken by François Grimaldi on 8 January 1297. After a few twists and turns, thirty years later the Grimaldi dynasty definitively became master of the fortress and since then oversaw the reinforcement works followed by the improvement of the stronghold.

Defence efforts carried on until 1529, when Charles Quint visited. Honoré I then Honoré II retained the services of renowned architects to improve the fortress and to lead it bit by bit to become a genuine Italy-inspired palace. There was a new pavilion, new quarters, a chapel, a guest door, a winding staircase etc. The architecture, just like the ornamentation and the art collections, made the Prince’s Palace of Monaco one of the most remarkable residences in the XVII century.

Philharmonic orchestra in the Main Courtyard of the Prince's Palace.

Unfortunately, the art collections were scattered during the French Revolution. The damage to the Palace made it necessary, after the Restoration, to destroy some of the buildings. Extensive restoration work took place at the end of the XIX century.The Prince's Palace remains an iconic residence, as splendid as it was peaceful, with dimensions that become even more generous on the occasion of philharmonic concerts given in the summer in the Main Courtyard of the Prince's Palace.

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