Visiting Fontvieille, Principality of Monaco and Its Rose Garden: Named for Princess Grace of Monaco
Far more than a flower, far more than a rose garden
Seeing the lush vegetation of this secluded garden in the Fontvieille suburb of the Principality of Monaco, one might almost forget that Fontvieille is built on land reclaimed from the sea. In any case, it is an ideal, quiet site for a garden created in memory of H.S.H. Princess Grace of Monaco (1929-1982), opened in 1984. Roses were known to be particular favourite flowers of the Princess and approximately 4,000 roses are said to be present in the garden, in many varieties.
One rose variety is called the Grace de Monaco ; another, the Princesse de Monaco .
Canadians may note with interest that another of the rose varieties is the Jacques Cartier , named for the great explorer; this was bred in the 19th century.
In the middle of the rose garden is a 1983 statue, executed in bronze by Kees Verkade (1), representing Princess Grace.
In 2009, a book, in which about 300 of the garden's roses are featured in high quality photographs was issued in, Monaco, edited by Dr. Giuseppe Mazza (2); this book includes a foreword by way of a tribute by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.
The rose garden is situated adjacent to Fontvieille landscape park (Parc paysager de Fontvieille ), in which many olive trees and palm trees have been planted. Monaco's Heliport (Héliport de Monaco ) is also located nearby (with 7-minute flight links to Nice airport).
A plaque at the garden refers to the initiative of HSH Prince Rainier III of Monaco (1923-2005) in establishing the garden in memory of Princess Grace.
On another plaque, a meditative quotation from the Princess is reproduced, in English and French. The English version reads:
What is so special about a rose that it seems far more than a flower?
Perhaps it is the mystery that it has gathered through the ages
Perhaps it is the joy that it continues to give .
(1) Kees Verkade was also responsible for the 1997 statue of François Grimaldi ('Malizia'), which stands outside the Prince's Palace, Monaco.
(2) Dr. Giuseppe Mazza, Ed., La roseraie de la Princesse Grace , Monaco: Stile Libero Editions, 2009
Also worth seeing
Monaco's cultural attractions are too plentiful to summerize adequately; however, also at Fontvieille, like the Princess Grace Rose Garden, are the Naval Museum (Musée Naval de Monaco ) and the stamp and coin museum. The Napoleon Museum, in a wing of the Prince's Palace, and the Oceanographic Museum (Musée Océanographique ) are located in Monaco Town .
How to get there: Delta Airlines flies direct from New York to Nice, France (Aéroport Nice Côte d'Azur ), where car rental is available. Bus links also exist from Nice airport to Monaco. The French railroad company SNCF maintains services to Monaco from Downtown Nice. For North Americans making the London, England area their touring base, airlines flying to Nice include easyJet, from London Luton Airport. Please be aware that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.