Let’s take a few minutes to discover the different parts of the Principality and how they are adjusted to living accommodations. It is also useful to look at the constructed surface area in each “district”, whether this is for residential usage, commercial, public or industrial.
There are seven districts in Monaco. This first article will present the first 3 districts. The second article will present the other 4 districts.
District #1: FONTVIELLE
This is the newest quarter of the Principality, on the western seafront. It was the figment of the late Prince Rainier’s III imagination known as the “Builder Prince”. The Sovereign, realizing already in the mid-1960’s that living and working space were becoming too limited in this country, approved a plan by the Italian engineer Gianfranco Gilardini, reclaiming 35 hectares (86 acres) from the Mediterranean Sea. In 1981, the cornerstone of the new quarter was laid by the then Crown Prince Albert (today the Sovereign Prince) and now over 3,600 people live in the area (which is nearly 10% of the total population in Monaco), which also houses the heliport, a modern shopping mall, and several hotels. The port of Fontvieille is not just a place to keep one’s yacht. It is also a pleasant place to have a meal or refreshment at one of the many bars and restaurants along the waterfront. Fontvieille is, or has been home to a large number of famous residents, due to the contemporary aspect of many of its buildings and easy access to the Heliport, placing Nice airport just a few minutes away. Fontvieille is a very dynamic area, as it contains a large number of industries, while only 40% of the constructed surface area in Fontvieille is residential, the district does not have an industrial “feel”. It’s true 95% of all of Monaco’s industrial space may be found in Fontvieille, however, it must be underlined that there is no heavy industry in Monaco, and what industry is to be found in Fontvielle is non-polluting and highly discreet. Prices of flats located on the harbor of Fontvieille with a sea view can easily reach 50.000€ to 80.000€ per square meter.
District #2: LA CONDAMINE
The Condamine district covers the area of Port Hercules. This area is well known for its open-air marketplace and its various typical local restaurants and stores. The Condamine is a tactical location for the yearly world known “Formula 1 Grand Prix” race, as the departure and finish are located at the Harbor. Prices in this district can vary from 30.000€ to more than 80.000€ per square meter for apartments with terrace providing a great view of the port and Formula One track. This district can be the most attractive place for a person with a lower investment budget. Moreover, Condamine offers different construction styles from the modern to the Bourgeois style.
Monaco Ville, otherwise known as “the Rock”, is the old town of Monaco and is the smallest quarter, representing only 4% of the Principality’s surface area, but it houses 15% of Monaco’s constructed surface space. The old town is the rocky headland where, in the 13th century, a fortress was built and later a fortified town. François Grimaldi seized the fortress in 1297 and in the following centuries, it developed into what is today the Prince’s Palace, the official residence of Prince Albert II. The old town retains a medieval village feel, made up almost entirely of pedestrian streets. Only local vehicles are allowed in the district, where motorcycles are prohibited after 10 pm, ensuring a good night’s sleep for the inhabitants. The old town also houses the Oceanographic Museum, the Monaco Cathedral (containing the remains of Monaco’s late Princes and Princesses), and the St Martin Gardens. It is a highly touristic location throughout the year but a very calm place in the evening. Prices of apartments range from 30.000€ to 50.000€ per square meter. However, flats with a beautiful view on either side of the rock can reach prices up to 60.000€ per square meter. Apartments for sale in this district are rather rare.
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