Originally an old Genoan Fortress (1191-1215), the Palais du Prince today is the official residence of Grace Kelly's son and his wife Charlene Wittstock. I appreciated the simple but elegant exterior Itailanate style of the palace with it's outstanding views of the harbor. The changing of the guard occurs at 12 noon and it lasts less than five minutes. Try to be there a little before 12 so you do not miss the ceremony. The Interior is in sharp contrast to it's exterior simplicity. The palace is open to tours between April-October and costs about $10 USD. For the cost of a ticket you can see the Throne room were official receptions are held. Luxurious state rooms which are reminiscent of Louis XIV. The Mirror Gallery which you must pass through is also extraordinary as it imitates Versailles with 16th century frescoes of mythological figures on the walls. The highlight for me was the Napoleanic museum. The overall effect was more museum than palace. What I did not like was the fact that photos of any type are not allowed. I do think the palace represents good value and can easily be included with St. Martin's park and the Musee Oceanographique de Monaco which are within short walking distance. If the flag is up the royal family is in.
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