Little Bits of History

Teeny Tiny

Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 8, 2011

Monaco (photo by Georges DICK)

January 8, 1297: The Principality of Monaco gains its independence. The area was named by traveling Greeks in the 6th century BC and the word given meant “single house” or “living apart.” Hercules is said to have passed by here and the Greeks built a temple to him. Over the millennia, the land has come under diverse control. The area was re-founded in 1228 as a colony of Genoa, Italy. In 1297, François Grimaldi, disguised as a Franciscan monk captured the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco and began a more than 700 year reign of the land.

Monaco boasts a population of 32,410 people living within the borders of the world’s second smallest microstate. Monaco covers 1.95 square kilometers with only Vatican City covering a smaller area, 0.44 square kilometers inside the city of Rome. For comparison Paris covers an area of 86.9 square kilometers. Russia covers 17,076,400 square kilometers and is the largest country in the world. Tokyo is the most populous city in the world with 35.5 million residents. The largest city by area is Hulunbuir, China with an area of 263,953 square kilometers for the city alone (that’s larger than the UK). Proving size doesn’t matter, Monaco has the largest number of millionaires per capita of any place on Earth.

The small country’s economy is based on tourism. With an ideal climate that has over 300 days of sunshine per year as well as the beauty of coastal living, the tourists come via cruise ships, by rail that recently linked with France’s rail system, or even landing at the one heliport within the country.

Monte Carlo is the wealthiest of the four quarters of Monaco and boasts numerous casinos, the mainstay of the economy. The mini-country hosts sporting events such as the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and boxing bouts as well as hosting fashion shows. Monte Carlo, named for Prince Charles III, is where the rich and famous can relax and kick back. The current ruler of the principality is Prince Albert II, son of Prince Rainier III and his wife, US actress and princess Grace Kelly.

“I still can’t really believe it. It’s incredible really. I have no luck here in Monte Carlo. It must change soon.” – Petter Solberg

“Italians come to ruin most generally in three ways: women, gambling, and farming. My family chose the slowest one.” – Pope John XXIII

“A man’s gotta make at least one bet a day, else he could be walking around lucky and never know it.” – Jim Jones

“In gambling the many must lose in order that the few may win.” – George Bernard Shaw

Also on this day:
Genius Personified – In 1942, Stephen Hawking was born.
War on Poverty – In 1964, President Johnson declares war.

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