Built on the edge of a 60-meter high cliff, Monaco Ville, also known as the Rock, is the Principality's historic district. Centralizing most of the country's political institutions, this maze of alleys distills through its ramparts and its picturesque houses, some of which are centuries old, all the authenticity and charm of the old town.
The Rock, the historic district of Monaco
It is one of the most beautiful districts of Monaco, the Rock dominates the Monegasque landscape. This reserved area, nestled between the Fontvieille district and the Condamine district, is home to the oldest historical buildings in the city. Facing the Mediterranean, the Prince's Palace, where the Grimaldi family has made its home since 1297, stands on the main square.
Next to it, on the 20 hectares of the district, are numerous political institutions such as the town hall, the national council, the parliament of Monaco, the government, the courts, the town council and the only Monegasque prison.
Exclusive and secure, this area overlooking the port Hercule leaves room for pedestrians who can stroll through the narrow streets where the historical architectural heritage of Monaco in the "renaissance" style is revealed. Only the little tourist train and cars with the registration number MC or 06 can access the streets. The alleys in the center of the Rock are exclusively pedestrian.
The stairs of the Major ramp allow access to the old city and offers a unique route studded with the intensity of the blue of the Mediterranean.
In addition to tourists, there is a lot of traffic at certain times due to the presence of 2 schools on the Rock: the Lycée Albert 1er and the Institution François d'Assise - Nicolas Barré.
The must-sees of the area
The Palace Square
The Place du Palais Princier in Monaco is one of the most emblematic places in the Principality. It introduces the residence of the sovereign prince, built at the top of the Rock and hemmed in with Louis XV period cannons. Every day, in front of this architectural jewel, the traditional changing of the Monegasque Guard offers a spectacle that is much appreciated by visitors.
Next to it, the Carabinieri barracks keeps alive the heritage of 2 centuries of military traditions and since 2009 has had a museum at its heart where uniforms and equipment belonging to the princes and their personal guards are displayed.
The Oceanographic Museum
As if balanced on the cliff, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is the most imposing building in Monaco. 6000 m2 of neo-baroque style that preserves since 1889 more than 6000 underwater species and 300 families of invertebrates.
Facing the Mediterranean Sea, the Oceanographic Museum and its giant aquariums forge a temple dedicated to the sea and pays tribute to the explorers in an extraordinary place.
The Saint-Martin garden
Below the road, on the side of a rock, the paths of the Saint-Martin garden wind through typically Mediterranean vegetation where a few exotic species have become acclimatized over time. Created in 1816, this green setting between the Oceanographic Museum and the cathedral is the first public garden in the Principality. Monumental sculptures, pistachio trees, holm oaks and myrtles live together on this promontory in harmony.
The cathedral of Monaco and the Chapel of Mercy
The Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate of Monaco houses the tombs of deceased princes. This grandiose Romanesque-Byzantine building built of white stone from La Turbie has been rising into the Monegasque sky since 1875. Like the Chapel of Mercy located on the town hall square, this religious building can be visited and welcomes the great liturgical feasts of the Principality such as the feast of Saint Devote on January 27th and the Monegasque national day on November 19th.
At the northeastern tip of the Rock, Fort Antoine, built in the 18th century, has been transformed into an open-air temple of the arts in a green setting. On the remains of this ancient warrior basin, a platform is now the theater where multiple disciplines of live entertainment, from chamber music to poetry recitals through folklore and storytelling.
Real estate prices in Monaco Ville
Prized for its authenticity and the charm of its shops, the Monaco Ville district offers splendid views of the port Hercule from the heart of the properties located on its heights. Prices per square meter vary from 35 to 60,000 euros depending on the area. [-]
If you wish to invest in Monaco, our real estate agency, specialized in rare properties for sale for nearly 50 years, will accompany you in your search for a place to live in the Principality.