- The Grimaldi Dynasty
- The Ravages Of The French Revolution
- The Birth Of Monte-Carlo
- Prince Rainier III Builds The Future
The history of the Principality of Monaco really begins the accession of the Grimaldis in the thirteenth century. The Rock was first inhabited by primitive populations, traces of whom have been found in the caves of the garden of Saint-Martin, then by the Ligurians, a hardy and frugal mountain people.
Legend has it that a temple dedicated to the ancient Greek god Heracles-whom the Romans called Hercules-once stood in the port of Monaco, hence the name port Hercule. Phoenician and Carthaginian sailors contributed to develop the port.
The name of Monaco, (Monoikos in Greek) is therefore associated with that of Hercules by ancient classical authors who referred to Heracles monoikos, meaning the one and only Heracles, or Heracles with only one temple.
The Principality saw the day on 10th June 1215 when the Genoese, aware of the Rock's strategic importance and of the advantages the port had to offer, founded a fortress which has since become the Prince's Palace. In order to attract people to the Rock, they offered very advantageous terms to those who settled there. And so this narrow strip of land became increasingly important and was regularly coveted by the two opposing parties of Genoa: the Guelphs, who supported the Pope, and the Ghibellines who took sides for the Emperor.