In the Grotte de l'Observatoire, settlement dates from
about 200,000 to 25,000 BC. coated. Findings from there, as
well as from the Grimaldi caves, can be found in the Musée
d'Anthropologie prehistorique de Monaco, which also contains
objects from the Greek and Roman eras.
From Massalia (Marseille) was founded in the 500s BC the
colony of Monoikos, in Roman times the militarily
important port city of Herculis Monoeci portus.
Monaco, which was part of Genoa's power sphere during the
Middle Ages, was ruled by the Grimaldi family from 1297
(final 1419). After periods of Spanish and French supremacy,
Monaco was annexed by France in 1793, regained its freedom
in 1814 but, after a decision by the Vienna Congress in
1815, became a protectorate under the Kingdom of Sardinia.
In 1861, Monaco gained its current position as an
independent principality, though strongly dependent on
France. At the same time, the monegasque cities of Menton
and Roquebrune, which in 1848 were declared free, were
incorporated with France for a replacement to Prince Charles
III of Monaco. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Monaco. During his reign, Monaco quickly developed
into a tourist and gaming paradise and, thanks to the
revenues from the gaming business, was able to introduce tax
relief in 1869.
Albert I abolished the princely monarchy in 1911. In
1918, a treaty was concluded with France, in which Monaco
pledged to exercise its independence in accordance with
French interests, while France undertook to defend the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Principality.
During World War II, Monaco was occupied by Italian and
Rainier III issued a new, more democratic constitution in
1962, which in 2002 was revised in an even more democratic
direction. During Rainier's reign (1949–2005), Monaco
underwent rapid economic development. Construction
activities expanded greatly, and the country's surface area
grew by a quarter through fillings in the sea. The casino
has lost its state financial significance, while foreign
companies and financial institutions have been tempted to
establish themselves in Monaco through favorable conditions.
International criticism and money laundering allegations
have been directed at the Monegasque banking system. France
forced Monaco in 1963 to apply French tax rules to most
French citizens in the Principality.