Prince's Palace (Palais du Prince)
- Address: Place du Palais, Monaco-Ville
- Hours: Open Apr 2- Oct 31 only. From Apr 2-Apr 30: 10:30am-6pm daily; May 1-Sept 30: 9:30am-6:30pm daily; Oct 1-Oct 31: 10am-5:30pm daily
- Admission: Adults: €7, Children (8-14) & Students: €3.50, Adult groups: €5, Children groups: €2.50
- Transit: See web site for details.
Throughout the centuries it has been transformed into one of the most luxurious residences in the style of Louis XIV. One must pass through the Mirror Gallery in order to enter the state apartments, with the dramatic effect of the mirrors in imitation of Versailles, and 16th century frescoes of mythological figures adorn the gallery walls.
Legend has it that in January 1297 François Grimaldi took shelter at the fortress disguised as a monk; once admitted, he and his men captured the castle and took it over as their stronghold. The fortress has a long, dramatic history defending the territory from attacks by other states, and was repeatedly bombarded, damaged and restored.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Monte Carlo and the French Riviera became synonymous with Monaco as the decadent playground of the rich and glamorous. So decadent was the principality that Queen Victoria refused to make a courtesy social call at the palace when she first began visiting the French Riviera in 1882. Prince Rainier III is credited with restoring the Palace to its former glory and magnificent state in which it stands today.
Hollywood film star Grace Kelly brought glamour when she became chatelaine to the palace in 1956, and twenty years after her death a new Princess Consort, Miss Charlene Wittstock, married the current Prince of Monaco in July 2011.
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