Top historic sites in Monaco

Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Casino is a gambling and entertainment complex located in Monaco. It includes a casino, the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo, and the office of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. The idea of opening a gambling casino in Monaco belongs to Princess Caroline (1793-1879), a shrewd, business-minded spouse of Prince Florestan I. Revenues from the proposed venture were supposed to save the House of Grimaldi from bankruptcy. ...
Founded: 1858-1863 | Location: Monaco, Monaco

Saint Nicholas Cathedral

Saint Nicholas Cathedral (officially Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée) is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Monaco, where many of the Grimaldis were buried, including Grace Kelly and more recently, Rainier III. The cathedral was built in 1875-1903 and consecrated in 1911, and is on the site of the first parish church in Monaco built in 1252 and dedicated to St. Nicholas. Of note are the retable (circa ...
Founded: 1875-1903 | Location: Monaco, Monaco

Prince's Palace of Monaco

The Prince's Palace of Monaco is the official residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco. Built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, during its long and often dramatic history it has been bombarded and besieged by many foreign powers. Since the end of the 13th century, it has been the stronghold and home of the Grimaldi family who first captured it in 1297. The Grimaldi ruled the area first as feudal lords, and from the 17th c ...
Founded: 1191 | Location: Monaco, Monaco

Jardin Exotique de Monaco

The Jardin Exotique de Monaco is a botanical garden located on a cliffside in Monaco. The succulent plants were brought back from Mexico in the late 1860s. By 1895, Augustin Gastaud, who served as the Chief Gardener of the State Gardens of Monaco, grew the succulents in the Jardin St Martin. Albert I, Prince of Monaco acquired a piece of land in Les Moneghetti in 1912. He commissioned Louis Notari, the Chief Engineer of ...
Founded: 1860s | Location: Monaco, Monaco

Monaco Top Cars Collection

The Monaco Top Cars Collection host the personal collection of cars acquired by  Prince Rainier III of Monaco (1923-2005). The collection contains almost one hundred classic cars made in Europe and the United States. Notable cars in the collection include the Bugatti Type 35 driven by William Grover-Williams that won the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix in 1929, and Sébastien Loeb"s Citroën DS3 WRC, which he drove to v ...
Founded: 20th century | Location: Monaco, Monaco

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.