The zzzland Times

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                           Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Monaco is a Constitutional Monarchy and Principality with Prince Albert II as head of state. The Grimaldi family has ruled over Monaco since 1292 and the state's sovereignty was officially recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. Despite being independent, Monaco’s defense is still the responsibility of France.

It is the world’s second most densely populated country, surpassed only by the Macau Special Administrative Region in southeast China. Monaco is also the smallest French-speaking country.                               

The Hotel de Paris was opened in 1863 as part of the development of Monte Carlo by the Société des Bains de Mer(SBM) under the auspices of Charles III of Monaco. Here's the entrance.

 

Here's a picture (I've given it the "artistic" touch) of the path you can take from the harbor (where most cruise ships disembark). It takes you to a lift that brings you to the top of the steep hill from where you can take the bus. (the bus ride from Nice to Monaco is 1 Euro each way.)

Since 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix has been held annually in the streets of Monaco. Here's a picture of the Royal box.

                                  More Monaco

           

The Oceanographic Museum was inaugurated in 1910 by Monaco's modernist reformer, Prine Albert I. This monumental architectural work of art has an impressive façade towering above the sea over the sheer cliff face to a height of 279 feet (85.04 meters). It took 11 years to build, using 100,000 tons of stone from La Turbie.

Jacques Cousteau was its director for many years, beginning in 1957. 

The museum houses remarkable collections of various species of sea fauna (starfish, seahorses, turtles , jellyfish, crabs, lobsters, rays, sharks, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, eels, cuttlefish etc.) both stuffed and in skeletal form. The museum's holdings also include a great variety of sea related objects, including model ships, sea animal skeletons, tools, weapons, etc.

An aquarium is housed in the basement of the museum which showcases a spectacular array of flora and fauna. 4000 species of fish and over 200 families of invertebrates can be seen. It features a presentation of Mediterranean and tropical marine ecosystems.                                                                                                                          
  

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