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Monte Carlo is one of Europe's leading tourist resorts, although many of the key tourist destinations are located in other parts of Monaco, including such attractions as Monaco Cathedral, the Napoleon Museum, the Oceanographic Museum and aquarium, and the Prince's Palace, all of which are located in Monaco-Ville. Tourism is Monaco's main source of income and is one of the most expensive places to visit. Real estate in Monaco and Monte Carlo is also some of the most expensive in the world.
The pier on the harbour was extended in 2001 to accommodate large cruise ships. Cruise ships bring a vast number of tourists to Monte Carlo every year.
|Hotel de Paris and Casino|
During the 20th century, Monaco was ruled first by Prince Albert I then, starting in 1922, by his son Prince Louis II. Unsuccessful in his attempts to keep Monaco neutral during World War II, the country was occupied first by the Italians, and later by the Germans. Eventually Monaco was liberated by the Allied forces.
Prince Rainier III became ruler of Monaco in 1949, succeeding his grandfather, Prince Louis II, after his mother, Crown Princess Charlotte, renounced her right to succession in favour of her son. Prince Rainier worked diligently to repair the war-torn country and expand her interests beyond gambling. Indeed, Prince Rainier succeeded in making Monaco a leader in banking, financial services, and other business.
In 1956, Prince Rainier brought international interest to the tiny country when he married American actress Grace Kelly. Fascination with Monaco only increased as three children were born to the couple: Princess Caroline in 1957, followed by Prince Albert II in 1958, and Princess Stephanie in 1965.
Tragically, Princess Grace died in a car accident in 1982 at the age of 52. Princess Stephanie was seriously injured in the same crash. Physically recovered, she has admitted that the crash still haunts her.
Prince Rainier died in 2005 at the age of 81, after 50 years as the country's well-loved ruler.
|Casino Square & Gardens|
- Salle Garnier. The Opéra de Monte-Carlo or Salle Garnier was built by the architect Charles Garnier as an exact replica in miniature of the Paris Opera House. The auditorium of the opera house is decorated in red and gold and has frescoes and sculptures all around the auditorium. It was inaugurated on January 25, 1879 with a performance by Sarah Bernhardt dressed as a nymph. The first opera performed there was Robert Planquette's Le Chevalier Gaston on 8 February 1879, and that was followed by three more in the first season.
- The Hôtel de Paris. Opened in 1863 as part of the development of Monte Carlo by the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) under the auspices of Charles III of Monaco. It is a luxury hotel at the heart of Monte Carlo and is owned and operated by SBM, along with the Hotel Hermitage, the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel and the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. It has notable restaurants, including the Michelin 3-star Louis XV and Michelin-starred Le Grill, as well as the Le Bar Americain. The hotel has 106 rooms divided into four groups based on type of view, decoration and luxury. The Exclusive City View offers 20 rooms, the Superior Courtyard has 29 large rooms, the Exclusive Sea View has 59 and the Exclusive Casino has six. Additionally there are 74 suites and junior suites which are grouped similarly, offering more luxury than the regular rooms. There are single and double suites as well as Courtyard Junior suites and Sea/Casino Junior suites. There is also a Presidential suite.
- Monte Carlo Casino. More than just an internationally renowned casino, the building also includes the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo, and the office of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo Casino is owned and operated by the Société des bains de mer de Monaco, a public company in which the Monaco government and the ruling family have a majority interest. The company also owns the principal hotels, sports clubs, foodservice establishments, and nightclubs throughout Monaco.
- The Cathedral of Monaco. Built with white stones from La turbie, this Roman-Byzantine cathedral is the burial site former Princes. The cathedral houses a magnificent altarpiece by Louis Bréa, a painter from Nice, along with a wonderful altar and episcopal throne in white Carrara marble.
- Exotic Garden of Monaco. The Exotic Garden of Monaco has been a unique site since it was opened to the public in 1933. In its prestigious, open-air setting, it brings together a wide variety of “succulent” plants. The plant species represented in this Garden come from several faraway arid zones (hence the name “Exotic”): cacti and agaves come from the south-western United States, Mexico, and Central and South America; the other succulent plants are from southern and eastern Africa and the Arabian peninsula.