Visitors can enter the home of the Sovereign Family from April to October. At the start of the visit, they are impressed first of all by the magnificent Cour d’Honneur, the Courtyard of Honour.
Frescoes, columns and a double staircase combine to create an exceptional setting where everything is in harmony, with a play of lighting and shadows.
The floor of the Cour d’Honneur, created during the present reign, forms a subtle geometric composition with a combination of pebbles and stone slabs.
Facing the staircase in Carrara marble, inspired by that of Fontainebleau, are frescoes attributed to Luca Cambiaso (1527-1585), which decorate the façade. They include depictions of “The Triumph of Bacchus” and “The Gods of the Sea.”
Other frescoes adorn the elegant Hercules Gallery; the birth, work and death of Hercules are depicted in the lunettes of the vaults, painted by Orazio dei Ferrari (1605-1657), who also designed scenery for ballets performed in the Court of Prince Honoré II. Between the doors and windows are mythological characters such as Antiope, Semiramis, Sphiron and Artemisia, inspired by engravings after Claude Vignon (1593-1670).
From this gallery, the Sovereign appears to all the Monegasques assembled in the Cour d’Honneur on important occasions such as accessions and presentations of a future princess or a Princely child.
The visit continues by entering the interconnected State Apartments. Famous people have passed through or stayed here - popes, an emperor, kings and queens ...
The Prince welcomes guests at official receptions in these rooms, as well as Monegasque children at Christmas time.
A wonderful floor runs uninterrupted from room to room, inlaid with a pattern of marble, with the monogram of Prince Rainier III.
The carefully chosen, varied furniture includes François I cabinets and Florentine and Boulle items. The walls are decorated with gold and rich hangings, with silk brocade and damask, in both delicate and stronger tones.
Numerous paintings complete this Princely décor. Many of these works, painted by Nicolas de Largillière, Hyacinthe Rigaud, Marie Veroust, Philip de Laszlo de Lombos and contemporary artists, depict members of the House of Monaco, past and present: so many reminders of prestigious unions between important families (Savoy, Lorraine, Matignon and Aumont-Mazarin) and a testimony to a love of art that has continued and been constantly renewed through the ages.
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