Sunday 18th October marks the 20th edition of Monaco’s European Heritage Day celebrations.
Organised by the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Principality will open up some of its little viewed treasures across the weekend of 17-18 October 2015 in order to celebrate its ‘Heritage Favourites’.
Since 1996 visitors have embraced this wonderful carnival of cultural, with members of the public invited to gain access to some famous, and some not-so-famous, landmarks across the country.
It’s not just Monaco that will be enjoying the festivities, 49 other countries and up to 20 million visitors will be getting out and about to discover more than 30,000 historically significant sites.
Here we run down five of the best attractions not to miss on this special annual event.
1.The Princess Grace Irish Library
Inaugurated on 20 November 1984 by Prince Rainier III of Monaco, the Princess Grace Irish Library was created as a tribute to his much-cherished wife.
Residing in the hôtel particulier of former Monaco mayor Comte Félix Gastaldi, the library celebrates Princess Grace’s strong Irish origins, with her grandfather John Kelly born in 1847 in County Mayo during the Great Famine.
In the presence of Dr Mary Pierse, Ireland Fund of Monaco Academic-in-Residence, guided tours of the library will be offered at 10:00, 12:00 and 15:30 in French and English (duration 40 minutes, booking essential).
From 14:00-14:45 there will be a Celtic Harp Recital by Morgane Ludovici, Académie Rainier III, again, reservations are essential
Reservations: +377 93 50 12 25
2.The private chapel of the Archbishop of Monaco and the Archdiocese garden
Situated just behind the cathedral on rue de l’Abbaye, take the rare opportunity to visit this beautiful Monegasque site which is usually closed to the public.
The chapel and garden will be open to visitors between 14:00 -18 :00. Entry is free.
Further information: (+377) 92 05 36 99
3.Pre-treatment of wastewater plant
For those keen to seek out one of Monaco’s less glamorous sides, we have just the thing.
Located under the rock, the Principality’s wastewater factory is a site that usually goes unnoticed by Monaco’s regular inhabitants and visitors.
However, on Sunday those who wish can undertake an unusual expedition around this interesting plant which deals with the rainwater and sewerage of the Principality and its surroundings.
Guided tours will take place at 10:00, 11:00, 14:00 and 15:00.
Registration: (+377) 98 98 84 17
4.Princess Grace Academy
For the more energetic among you, why not try your hand at dancing with an exclusive lesson at the Princess Grace Academy.
Founded by the Princess herself in1975 at Casa Mia villa, the academy was established to give Marika Besobrasova a place to develop her teaching.
One-hour long guided tours of Casa Mia will be available on Sunday, where visitors can discover how the academy’s students really live.
Classical dance lessons will be available from 11:00-14:00, with contemporary tuition running from 15:30.
Registration: (+377) 93 30 70 40
5. The Palace Library
In celebration of European Heritage Day, a small number of lucky people will be privileged to enter the Monaco Palace library.
Prince Albert II will open up the archives to reveal an exhibition of previously unpublished documents relating to the marriage of Princess Louise-Hippolyte and Jacques de Matignon, on the 300th anniversary of the couple’s union.
From the meeting point of the Malizia statue, guided tours will take place at 11:00, 14 :30 et 16 :30, with palces limited to 15 people per visit.
Reservations: (+377) 98 98 46 51