1297: Was the State of Monaco Founded through a Bluff?

1297: Was the State of Monaco Founded through a Bluff?
Photo Credit To https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8c/Monaco-FrancoisGrimaldi.jpg

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 8 January 1297
  • According to the legend, Francesco Grimaldi won Monaco through a bluff; he entered it dressed as a Franciscan monk.

On this day the Principality of Monaco celebrates its anniversary, because back in 1297 the first member of the Grimaldi family managed to gain control of the coastal rock upon which the Prince’s Palace in Monaco is located today. This Rock of Monaco became the core of the later state of Monaco, which today extends over 198 hectares of the surrounding land.

The Grimaldi family is of Italian origin and comes from the city of Genoa. The Grimaldis were one of the richest and most powerful families in Genoa in the Middle Ages. When the struggle began in the city between different parties, one of the combative Grimaldis, named Francesco, took over the castle on the coastal Rock of Monaco in order to gain a foothold in the fight against the enemy. Legend says that Francesco Grimaldi disguised himself as a Franciscan monk and so entered the castle of Monaco through a bluff, along with his men. Because of his ingenuity, he was nicknamed “il Malizia”.

Today Monaco is ruled by Prince Albert, who originated from the Grimaldi family. Of course, he is also the son of the famous actress Grace Kelly. Prince Albert has no legitimate heirs (yet), so in the event of his death his sister Caroline should inherit the throne. Princess Caroline should, in turn, be succeeded by her eldest son Andrea Casiraghi (born in 1984).

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