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Historical Sites in Monaco

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Rock of Monaco
The Rock of Monaco is a 62 metre tall promontory overlooking Monte-Carlo's port and the Mediterranean sea. It is also the oldest of Monaco's areas, where the Old Town is located. During the 6th century BC, Greeks founded the colony of Monoikos. Its name comes from Hercules, who was said to have constructed the ancient path that passed through the region from Spain to Italy together with Monaco's port and a coastal road. The road was, thus, dotted with altars to Hercules, and a temple dedicated to him was established on the Rock of Monaco. Nowadays, the rock is home to Monaco's Old Town, with medieval narrow streets and the country's most important monuments: the Palais Princier, Saint Nicholas Cathedral and the Oceanographic Museum.
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The Palais Lascaris
An exceptional example of civil baroque architecture, the Palais Lascaris is a recognised Musée de France, devoted to the art and music of the 17th and 18th centuries.
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Chapelle Bellini et Parc Fiorentina
This chapel is part of the estate of Villa Fiorentina, a famous Italian-style villa dating from the end of the 19th century and one of the residences that "made Cannes' reputation". The Baroque chapel was built at the request of Count Vitali, whose coat of arms adorns one of its walls.
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Villa Rothschild Mediatheque Noailles
Open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9.30 am to 6 pm, in summer from 8 am to 3 pm. Closed between midday and 2 pm for the children's section, video library and record library.
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St. Francis and the Basilica
The World Heritage Committee included on its list the Basilica and other sites important to the Franciscan Order, due to the fact that they represent an amalgamation of masterpieces stemming from creative human genius
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The Citadel of Saint-Tropez
Dating from the 17th century, bought by the municipality in 1993, this listed monument is one of the most visited historical and cultural sites in the Var. This monument is composed of a hexagonal dungeon, an entrance with adjoining curtain and bastions.
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Fort de lEstissac
Built between 1634 and 1640, it sports a plane corresponding to the general provisions of Richelieu's strong. The book tour in the summer, especially the tower, which offers a splendid panorama and houses the exhibition Marine Bio Diversity (presentation of the National Park and the Ile de Port-Cros). A 15-minute walk from the village.
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The Royal Castle of Racconigi
The Royal Castle of Racconigi is situated in the province of Cuneo in the region of Piemonte. It was the official residence of the Carignano line of the House of Savoy and is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy included by UNESCO in the World Heritage Sites list.
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Eglise Saint Louis
A mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, this thirteenth century building offers a beautiful display of 19th c. stained-glass windows produced by the Metz-based Maréchal workshop.
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The Tower of the Citadelle
Aristocrat's houses and the ruins of its castle and the Saint-Michel keep, a square tower from the 14th century.
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The Chateau of Lourmarin
Facing the village of Lourmarin, listed amongst the most beautiful of France, this castle is the first Renaissance Château in Provence. The original, medieval wing, called the Château-vieux or old castle, boasts Italian-style loggias.
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Uviglie Castle
The property with its ancient park because of its architectural importance and its artistic heritage, it is under the Royal Law Decree of June 1939 and it belongs today to the Società Semplice Castello d’Uviglie.
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The Fort Saint-Jean
The Fort Saint-Jean site has been occupied since Antiquity but it wasn’t until the 13th century that the Knights of Saint-John (later the Knights of Malta) established themselves here and named the area after them. Some relics remain. The huge square tower was built on the foundations of Maubert tower to defend the port entrance after the Aragonese Sack (1423) by Roy René. The beacon tower was built in 1644 and the Chevalier de Clerville built the fort following Louis XIV’s orders in his major plans for Marseille. He had a hole liable to flooding excavated to isolate the fort from the city. It was used as a garrison than a prison during the French Revolution. During the Second World War, it was used to store the German army’s munitions which exploded in 1944 causing major damage to the fort and Transporter Bridge. The fort was listed as a Monument Historique in 1964 and included in MuCEM in 2013.
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The cellars of the Saint Firmin Palace
Cave dwelling-like halls, cisterns, underground stairways, olive oil mills, etc, built up and fitted out over the centuries in a big house called the "Palais Saint Firmin". Listed as a Historic Monument.
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Castle of Gordes
The Castle of Gordes is a monument in the municipality of Gordes (Vaucluse, Provence-Alps-French Riviera). It is an attraction for holidaymakers staying in the region.
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The Palace of Pops
Avignon has a magnficent urban landscape. The Rocher des Doms overlooks the city and the Rhône. Here there is an exceptional architectural group which includes the Pont d'Avignon (also known as Pont Saint Bénezet, the Ramparts, the Petit Palais, the Doms Cathedral and the massive walls of the Palace of the Popes, with four impressive towers in each corner. This unique architectural ensemble has been ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The biggest Gothic palace in the world: tour 24 rooms! Museum space, priceless frescoes. Audioguide in 11 languages
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The Saint Benezet bridge
The Saint Bénezet bridge, a major witness of the history of Avignon, is known throughout the world thanks to the famous song. Built from the 12th century, it was washed away several times by the floods of the Rhone, and finally abandoned in the seventeenth century. Classified World Heritage by UNESCO.
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Baron Gamba Castle
Gamba Castle Built at the beginning of the 1900s from the designs of the engineer Carlo Saroldi, it was commissioned by Charles Maurice Gamba, husband of Angélique d‘Entrèves, daughter of Count Christin d‘Entrèves. Since 1982 it has been the property of the Valle d’Aosta Autonomous Region. After a complex restoration, today the castle houses an exhibition route that winds through 13 rooms, displaying over 150 works of art such as paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings and photographs belonging to a regional collection dating back from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Alongside the works of the 20th-century masters, including sculptures by Martini, Mastroianni, Manzù, Arnaldo and Giò Pomodoro, and paintings by Casorati, De Pisis, Carrà and Guttuso, the collection documents Italian figurative art produced from the second half of the century up to contemporary study exponents, such as Schifano, Baruchello, Rama and Mainolfi. A vast and varied selection of works testifies to the movements that have animated the Italian art scene over the past 25 years: for example, the exhibition hosts representations of Informal art, Geometric abstraction, Transavantgarde and Pop art. Particular importance is given to Valle d’Aosta region through the activity of local artists, or those active in Valley, on regional commission. For visitors seeking both learning and distraction, the exhibition offers a series of services designed to bring different groups of visitors (families, adults, schools, children, young people) closer to modern and contemporary art through workshop activities, guided tours and events.
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Fortress of Castell
A great number of medieval castles overlook the valleys and countryside creating very suggestive landscapes such as the Fortress of Castell’Arquato.
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Val dArda is Castell Arquato
Among the treasures of Val d’Arda is Castell’Arquato with a rich historical centre towered over by the Praetorian Palace and by the Fortress of the XIV century stands out.
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Chateau des Ducs de Savoie
This former residence of the Ducs de Savoie is currently the seat of the Préfecture et du Département de la Savoie.
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Panperduto
A gem of industrial hydroengineering, Panperduto represents an area of great interest to make visitors aware of cultural, historical, agricultural and environmental heritage. Located on the banks of the Ticino river, at Somma Lombardo along the European E1 trail and a few kilometres away from the Lago Maggiore and Milan, Panperduto is a place rich of history and culture. The old residence of the dam workers has been authentically restructured and today welcomes tourists following the cycleways, footpaths and points of interest along the watercourses. There is accommodation available with the opportunity to take guided tours of the whole complex, from the river confluence to the museum of the Italo-Swiss watercourses including a garden of interactive water games, to the migratory passage for fish and the beautiful trails immersed in the Ticino nature reserve.
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Sforza Castle
Castello Sforzesco is a surprising monument sheltering several specialized museums and traces of the city’s past. An oasis of art and culture. It was originally a Visconti fortress and later home to the mighty Sforzas, the rulers of Milan, who transformed it into a magnificent ducal palace thought to have been decorated by several of the greatest artists of the times including Donato Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci. Transformed into a military complex during four centuries of foreign occupation and subsequently used as the barracks of the Italian army, at the end of the 19th century the Castle was restored by architect Luca Beltrami who turned it into the headquarters of Milan’s Civic Museums. Today the Castle sits in all of its glory in the eponymous square with its 70m-tall “Torre del Filarete” and a number of majestic circular keep-towers.
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Baptistery
The Baptistery of San Giovanni was founded on 15 August 1152. It is here that the Sacrament of Baptism is administered and the Christian embarks upon the path of Faith. The reason that such a fascinating and enigmatic building was constructed was certainly the wish to endow the cathedral with a worthy adjunct: a Baptistery that, in terms of position, size, materials and style, would be in harmony with the majestic building that already stood opposite.
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Square of Miracles
The Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa, or the Square of Miracles, was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO 25 years ago. The square is not located in the center of the city as you might imagine but to the north-west of the fortified wall, almost out of the town; there probably wasn’t enough space to use at the time the project got underway so this is the site decided upon. Since the times of the Etruscans, the three structures found in the piazza have been considered central to religious life, symbolizing the main stages of a human’s life
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Camposanto Monumentale
The Cemetery is the last monument on Piazza del Duomo, its long marble wall flanking the northern boundary and completing its shape. It was founded in 1277 to accommodate the graves that until then were scattered all around the Cathedral. Archbishop Federico Visconti wanted the building to be a “large and dignified, secluded and enclosed place”. This is how one of the oldest Christian Medieval architectures for the devotion of the dead came into being.
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Pisa Cathedral
Pisa Cathedral is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, in the Piazza dei Miracoli. Founded in 1064 and consecrated with great pomp on September 26th 1118, the Cathedral was built in two stages, one by architect Buscheto, who created the original layout with the basilican body with four aisles and one nave, a transept with one nave and two aisles, and the dome on the cross vault, and one by Rainaldo, who extended the building and the façade. The outer facing of the Cathedral is decorated in alternating black and white shades in stripes of Arab influence and a massive use of reused materials from Roman monuments that emphasised the greatness of the city of Pisa, “altera Roma”. Inside, the nave is edged by two rows of monolithic columns made of granite from the Isle of Elba, flanked by four aisles separated by smaller colonnades with large womenís galleries on top, covered by cross vaults and looking out onto the nave through some double-lancet and four-lancet windows. The nave is covered by a wooden coffered ceiling that in the XVII century replaced the original exposed trusses.
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The Leaning Tower
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most remarkable architectural structures from medieval Europe.Tower of Pisa stands at 60 metres and until 1990 was leaning at about a 10 degree angle.
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Knights Square
The Knights’ Square or Piazza dei Cavalieri, lined with splendidly decorated buildings, has for centuries been the political heart of Pisa and is the second most important square after The Square of Miracles. A visit to the Renaissance church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri will give you a real insight in the colourful maritime history of the city. The Knights’ Square – what can you see there? - Palazzo dei Cavalieri was also known as “della Carovana” (Palace of the Convoy). This name derives from the three-year training period undertaken by the initiates of the Order, called “la Carovana”. Vasari embellished it with exquisite sgrafitti, that represent allegorical figures and signs of the zodiac, and the busts of the Grandukes of Tuscany. In front of it stands the huge statue of a victorious Cosimo I proudly ‘squashing’ the head of a dolphin, as a symbol of his naval victories. Today the palace hosts the Normale di Pisa University. The Church of the Knights of the Holy and Military Order of St. Stephen was also designed by Vasari (1565–1569). It contains Ottoman and Saracen naval banners captured by the Knights of St. Stephen. The ceiling shows off paintings with historical episodes involving the order, like the “Return of the Fleet” from the Battle of Lepanto.
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Piazza delle Vettovaglie
Piazza dei Cavalieri and Piazza Dante Alighieri are the centres of student life and in the streets around about there are many typical and affordable restaurants. In Piazza delle Vettovaglie there is the historic food market.
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The Roman Arena
The Roman amphitheatre (or arena) in Nîmes is the best-conserved of the Roman world. It was used for hunting wild animals and for gladiator combats from the end of the first century AD onwards. Many events are held there today.
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Torba Abbey
Set deep in the countryside north of Varese by the Castelseprio Archaeological Park, the site of Torba Abbey is home to more than a millennium of history. It started out as a military outpost towards the end of the Roman Empire and later fell into the hands of the Goths and then the Longobards (with defensive walls and towers dating back to the fifth and sixth centuries). Later Torba became a peaceful place of prayer and work for Benedictine nuns which led to the church and abbey being built in the thirteenth century.
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Pilotta palace
The vast but unfinished complex, named after the game pelota that was played in one of the courtyards, was built in the second half of the 16th century at the order of Ranuccio I around the Visconti stronghold and alongside the existing church of San Pietro martire.