Official name: Principality of Monaco
Area: 1.9 square kilometers (0.7 square miles)
Highest point on mainland: Mont Agel (140 meters/459 feet)
Lowest point on land: Sea level
Hemispheres: Northern and Eastern
Time zone: 1 P.M. = noon GMT
Longest distances: 3.18 kilometers (1.98 miles) from east to west; 1.10 kilometers (0.68 miles) from north to south
Land boundaries: 4.4 kilometers (2.7 miles) total boundary length, all with France
Coastline: 4.1 kilometers (2.5 miles)
Territorial sea limits: 22 kilometers (12 nautical miles)
An enclave lying entirely within the French department of Alpes-Mari-times, Monaco is the world's second-smallest country; only the Vatican is smaller. The entire principality occupies about three times the area of the Mall in Washington, D.C.
Monaco has no territories or dependencies.
Monaco's winters are mild, with temperatures rarely falling below freezing; January's average temperature is 8°C (46°F). The summer heat is comfortable because of the cooling breezes from the bordering Mediterranean Sea. The average high temperature in July and August is 26°C (79°F). Sea breezes moderate the summer heat. Monaco has a sunny climate, with only about sixty days of rain per year. On average, the sun shines for seven hours a day. Rainfall averages about 77 centimeters (30 inches) per year.
There is little geographic variation in this tiny country, but it is often divided into four regions based on economic activities: Monte Carlo is the northern entertainment district, site of the famous casino. La Condamine is the business district on the western side of the country's central bay. South of the bay, Monaco-Ville, the historic old city and site of the principality's lavish palace, is situated on a rocky projection about 60 meters (200 feet) above sea level. Fontvieille to the southwest is an industrial and port area that was developed on reclaimed land.
The Mediterranean Sea lies to the east and south of Monaco.
Monaco's coastline contains several cliffs as well as the Monte Carlo and Larvotto beaches in Monte Carlo. The Port of Monaco is located off the central coast, and the Port of Fontvieille is in the south; the two ports are separated by the small peninsula on which Monaco-Ville is located.
There are no lakes in Monaco.
No rivers flow through Monaco.
There are no deserts in Monaco.
Much of Monaco is situated on thickly clustered hills.
Monaco's terrain includes rugged cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The surrounding French countryside is mountainous.
There are caves in the rocky limestone cliffs on Monaco's coast.
There are no plateaus or monoliths in Monaco.
The Port of Fontvieille is built on land that was reclaimed from the sea between 1966 and 1973. The project enlarged the principality by 22 hectares (54 acres) and involved moving 7.5 million cubic meters (264.8 cubic feet) of rock and earth. The reclaimed land supports not only the port itself but also an industrial zone and retail and tourist facilities.
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Edwards, Anne. The Grimaldis of Monaco . New York: Morrow, 1992.
Hopkins, Adams. Essential French Riviera . Lincolnwood, IL: Passport Books, 1994.
"Monaco." LonelyPlanet. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/europe/monaco/ (accessed April 24, 2003).
Monte-Carlo Online. http://www.monte-carlo.mc/principalitymonaco/index.html (accessed April 24, 2003).