Exploring Monaco’s Culture and Heritage

From ballet and opera to cultural centres and car collections

Oceanographic Museum ©Bvergely
MONACO
DESTINATION OF THE MONTH – 2022
WEEK 3 OF 4

Racing events and luxury hotels are usually the first things that come to mind when thinking about Monaco. What many don’t know is that the Principality is dotted with cultural organisations of international calibre, top-class venues, museums and events that are extraordinary and yet occur regularly.

Celebrate Principality’s National Day

Monaco’s National Day takes place on 19 November and the entire Principality is prepared to celebrate with flags and decorations of red and white. Also known as the Sovereign Prince’s Day or ‘La Fête du Prince’ in French, it is one of the most important holidays in the Principality. Ahead of the festive day, tonight, some 200 drones will illuminate the Monegasque skies over the Prince’s Palace for a 12-minute show dedicated to Prince Albert I, the Principality will commemorate 100 years since the former Sovereign’s death this year.

© Shutterstock

Explore Monaco’s Tradition of Dance with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo

The Ballets de Monte-Carlo Company, which was founded in 1985 thanks to the efforts of H.R.H. Princess Caroline of Hanover to continue the long tradition of dance in Monaco and the Ballets Russes. The arrival of choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot in 1993 led to the company gaining prominence on the international stage. Today, the 50 dancers, who spend more than 200 days a year on tour, act as key cultural ambassadors for the Principality.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo-LAC © Alice Blangero

A Jewel in the Crown: Monte-Carlo Opera

The jewel in the crown of the Casino de Monte-Carlo is a reflection of the Principality’s rich history. The biggest stars of opera and theatre have performed at the Monte-Carlo Opera since the Salle Garnier was built. The venue’s outstanding acoustics combined with the beauty of the location make it possible to offer audiences eclectic productions, perpetuating the grand operatic tradition while supporting creativity.

Opera Garnier de Monte-Carlo ©Bvergely

Take a trip to the Poles at the Oceanographic Museum

Built on the side of Monaco’s legendary Rocher, the Oceanographic Museum founded by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco’s great-great-grandfather Prince Albert I has been watching over the oceans for more than a century. For the next two years, the Oceanographic Museum is hosting a huge exhibition tracing more than a century of life in the Arctic and Antarctica: Polar Mission. The Museum offers a five-stage immersion, where visitors will be able to meet the great polar explorers, the species which have adapted to life in these regions, the people that have chosen the Far North as their home and the researchers who are advancing science. youtube.com/watch?v=Ch9YGY4hE1w

Oceanographic Museum-Turtle rehabilitation space © M. Dagnino - Institut océanographiqu

Grimaldi Forum Monaco: Cultural Centre of Excellence

Recognisable for its unique glass and steel design, the Grimaldi Forum Monaco is the Principality’s convention and cultural centre. Its modular space covering 75,000 m² reclaimed from the sea in an exceptional location has enabled it to host an average of a hundred or so events per year. A total of nearly 250,000 people visit the Grimaldi Forum every year to attend congresses, shows, conventions, exhibitions, performances and concerts. Over the next years, Grimaldi Forum will see its exhibition capacity increase by 50%, with nearly 6,000 additional square metres, enabling it to host larger-scale events, all with a view over the Mediterranean from the Ravel terrace. Here is a sneak peek: youtube.com/watch?v=MH5jWqTkXew

Grimaldi Forum Monaco ©Bvergely

Discover the Prince’s Car Collection

In the late 1950s, motoring enthusiast Prince Rainier III began his collection of classic cars. Over the years, the collection grew and the garage of the Prince’s Palace soon proved too small to contain the hundred or so superb automobiles and so in 1993, Prince Rainier III decided to put his treasures on public display. Officially opened on the Fontvieille Terraces in 1993, the Cars Collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco has now moved to Port Hercule. The one hundred iconic vehicles, from the 1903 De Dion Bouton to Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari Formula 1 car, are now on display.

Musée - Collection de voitures de S.A.S. Le Prince de Monaco © Direction de la communication du gouvernement princier @ Michael ALESI

Get a Glimpse of Royalty at the Prince’s Palace State Apartments

While the Prince’s Palace is the private residence of the royal family, it is still possible to visit the State Apartments and retrace the history of the European powers. Through a series of rooms, the splendour of the Prince’s Palace is revealed: the Royal Courtyard, Hercule Gallery, Mirror Gallery, the York Room, the Louis XV Room, the Throne Room… The State Apartments of the Prince’s Palace are usually open over the summer season.

Prince’s Palace Aerial View ©Bvergely

Discover the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation

Renowned for his triptychs which can be seen around the world, Francis Bacon remains one of the top-rated artists on the international art market. Thanks to the sale of one of his paintings in 1946, the British artist left to settle in Monaco. Captivated by the ambiance and lifestyle of the Principality, as well as the benefits of the sea air, Bacon drew his inspiration from the beauty of the Mediterranean landscapes and the sophistication of the Casino de Monte-Carlo. The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation opened its doors on 28 October 2014, the anniversary of the painter’s birth, in the heart of the Principality. Established in an 1897 Belle Époque villa, the foundation seeks to offer an intimate location with a hushed ambiance. Today, the foundation created by Majid Boustany promotes the artist’s tormented portraits, encourages artistic creativity, is developing an acquisitions policy and offers tours throughout the year.

Foundation entrance © Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation
MONACO
DESTINATION OF THE MONTH – 2022
WEEK 3 OF 4

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