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Europe, Monaco

Monaco, small independent principality of Europe, forming an enclave in southeastern France, bordered on the south by the Mediterranean Sea and surrounded on the north, east, and west by the French department of Alpes-Maritimes. The principality, which lies east of Nice, is a famous resort. The country is 1.95 sq km (0.75 sq mi) in area. The population in the 1982 census was 29,876, and the 2002 estimate was 31,987. Monaco has one of the highest population densities of any country in the world, 16,404 persons per sq km (42,485 per sq mi). The principality is composed of four districts: Monaco, the capital; La Condamine; Monte Carlo; and Fontvieille. The official language of the country is French, although a number of people speak Monegasque, a mixture of French and Italian. Italian and English are also spoken. The commune of Monaco, located on a rocky promontory, is an ancient fortified town. Among its points of interest are a cathedral, a palace in the medieval and Renaissance styles, and an oceanographical museum, established in 1910 by Prince Albert I. The Monte Carlo Opera and Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra are here; the Monaco Grand Prix and Monte Carlo Rally are popular annual automobile-racing events.

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