The Principality of Monaco


My expectation for visting Monaco were high, but I didn’t like it.

I prefer a city that can be traversed on foot, but Monaco isn’t like that.  In fact, apart from the old town on the top of the hill, I spent the rest of my visit wondering when I could leave.

It was all buses and car-clogged roads, a mixture of tourists and bored (trapped) residents.

However, we did visit a couple of gems.

The Grimaldi Palace

While photos were not allowed inside and most of the rooms are standard “state banquet” affairs, the enclosed courtyard at the entrance is out of this world, covered in exquisite murals that made me realise what a Tudor, baroque or medieval palace must have been like.  Colour.  Colour.  Colour.

Painting by Joseph Bresson, circa 1762, showing the courtyard

But I’ve failed to find many pictures of it (and of course photography isn’t allowed inside).

But do visit for the murals!

And the other rooms are very colourful.  Far from the hilltop fortress of the 12th century that it once was, but still it looks from outside like no one will get inside unless they want you.

The Japanese Gardens

A moment for serenity in an otherwise frantic place.

When visited: September 2015

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