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Country Fast Facts: Monaco


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The Genoese built a fortress on the site of present-day Monaco in 1215.

The current ruling Grimaldi family secured control in the late 13th century, and a principality was established in 1338.

Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with a railroad linkup to France and the opening of a casino.

Since then, the principality's mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world famous as a tourist and recreation center.

Monaco is the world's most densely populated country and second-smallest independent nation; with a population of just 32,410 and an area of 1.96 square kilometers (485 acres), Monaco is the world's smallest French-speaking polity.

Source: CIA World Fact Book

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