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by Zsolt Szemerszky

Zsolt Szemerszky

Glamour and Fascination

Glamour and Fascination

The Principality of Monaco has always represented elegance and luxury dating back hundreds of years. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, Monaco was an attraction for Russian nobility. The Principality’s prosperity, and particularly that of the casinos, was in large due to the Russian community. 

Since 1909, the Principality of Monaco has hosted its world famous “Russian Ballet”. Since then, it has been through several rebirths to maintain its notability, and with the arrival of Jean-Christophe Maillot in 1993, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo joined the ranks of the world’s most renowned ballet companies. 

One of the most amazing fascinations of the Principality was glorified by actor and director Eric von Stroheim, who built a perfect replica of the Place du Casino in Hollywood at the Universal Studios in 1922. His attention to detail thoroughly captured the atmosphere of Monte Carlo for the movie Foolish Wives (Folies de femmes). 

The movie stirred up an American fascination with Monte Carlo, thirty years before the legendary royal marriage linked the two nations in April 1956. The marriage which was Monaco‘s own fairy tale. 

Since then, Monaco has become the location of choice for many film directors searching for genuinely dreamlike and elegant settings. 

The Principality has had a long relationship with the brightest celebrities and sports personalities. The building of the legendary Monte Carlo Country Club was inspired by Suzanne Lenglen, who was the number one ladies’ tennis player in the world in the 1920s, dominating the sport by having only lost 4 sets during her 7-year career. 

And the Principality cares for its celebrity visitors. Josephine Baker was one such recipient, who was a huge star and possibly the world’s first African-American celebrity. After great initial success, she had bad luck and faced racial issues. By the mid-1960s, Josephine had used up her entire fortune. A period of dark days overwhelmed her and her children, when Brigitte Bardot and Princess Grace personally came to her aid. Bardot helped her financially and then Princess Grace invited her to Monaco, helping with funds raised at galas held in the Principality, offering her a home for life. 

Amongst the most famous and internationally recognised people to be connected to the Principality was Sir Winston Churchill, who loved Monaco and visited often. As early as 1945, he regularly enjoyed staying at the Hôtel de Paris for Monaco‘s famous New Year festivities. 

Almost every week, there is a new and exciting international event in the Principality, thus one can always find something for one’s taste. It is fascinating, and one can observe the enormous efforts that the Monaco Government makes with its various commitments on an international level, making the Principality an important player in global entertainment and corporate business.

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