The palace is the residence of the prince and his family. The state apartments can be visited, but the prince will nevertheless be difficult to find.Älgbert Elgson
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The Palais Princier de Monaco is the Prince’s Palace in Monaco and has a long history. Today it serves as the official residence of the Grimaldi family. In terms of architectural history, the luxurious palace is a mix of different styles from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance to the 19th century. Although the prince’s family live there, parts of the prince’s palace are open to the public.
The trail of history
The prince’s palace has a long history, because where it stands today, on the rock le Rocher, a Genoese fortification was built around 1191, of which three restored towers with dovetail crenellations are still preserved. The rest of the medieval building was converted into a garrison over the centuries and then enlarged and redesigned several times by the rulers of the small principality on the Côte d’Azur. In order to convert the former fortress into a magnificent, prestigious residence, structures were built around the main courtyard and, inspired by the Castle of Fontainebleau, a white, 30-step horseshoe-shaped staircase was built from a single piece of Carrara marble.
During the French Revolution, the palace served as a hospital for the Italian army and many works of art changed hands during this time. Prince Honoré II later reassembled this art collection and is therefore again in the possession of the Grimaldis today.
The main room of today’s palace rooms includes the throne room with a mirror vault, the lion throne and marble floors, the mirror gallery, the enfilade with the blue salon, the red salon, the York room, the yellow salon and the Mazarin salon, as well as a chapel , the private apartments of the royal family and some administrative and utility rooms.
Some magnificent parts of the Prince’s Palace can be visited. The ticket for adults costs € 10, the reduced ticket for children or students € 5. The exact opening times and prices can be found on the official website of the Prince’s Palace.
A little tip: in combination with other sights such as the provat garage of the prince „Collection de Voitures Anciennes de S.A.S.“ lower prices are also possible. The tickets can be purchased online or on site. Certain parts of the state apartments (C) such as the throne room, the mirror gallery and the enfilade with several splendid salons can be visited. The visit is unfortunately not possible for wheelchair users, as the palace rooms can only be reached by stairs.
Important information at this point also for all photographers: Taking photos indoors is strictly forbidden and this is also controlled!
The tour starts after a security check (similar to the airport) via a side entrance on the left side of the main entrance (A) in the immediate vicinity of the south tower (H). During the tour, it is possible to look into the main courtyard with the large marble staircase. The beautifully decorated facade of the future chapel (D) and the administrative and household offices (N) can also be seen there.
The south tower (H), the central tower (K) and the St.Mary’s Tower(M) can best be admired from the publicly accessible „Place du Palais“ in front of the palace building – the changing of the guard, which has been unchanged for more than a hundred years, can also be seen there every day at 11:55 a.m. In the forecourt of the palace (B) there is also the statue of François Grimaldi and directly behind it a viewing platform from which one can enjoy a wonderful – if not the best – view over the port basin of Port Hercule.
The private apartments of the royal family with the All Saints‘ Tower, the swimming pool and the private gardens (E, F, G and parts of C) are of course not open to the public and are protected from view.
How to get there?
The easiest way to get here is either by car or by train. The Prince’s Palace, however, is located in the Monaco-Ville district and this can only be accessed by car from Monegasque. If you still decide to travel with your own vehicle, we can recommend the Chemin des Pêcheurs car park. From there it is only a 10-minute walk to the Prince’s Palace and the path leads through the beautiful old town. Those who prefer to travel by train will need around 20 minutes to get here from the train station.
A visit to the Prince’s Palace is a must on any trip to the small principality. Not only the palace is worth seeing, but the entire district in which it is located, because the whole of Monaco-Ville consists of magnificent buildings and the view over most of the country should not be missed. During the day, a relatively large number of tourists visit this district, but after 6:00 p.m. the number of visitors quickly becomes less and less and it is then that you can best enjoy the atmosphere of this place. The palace is very beautiful to look at from the inside as well as from the outside. Whether the visit from the inside is worthwhile for you, you have to decide for yourself. Anyone who is enthusiastic about splendidly decorated rooms and royal houses in general should definitely not miss it.