Monaco’s history is intrinsically tied to reclaiming land from the sea. Indeed, since the 19th century, the principality has expanded by some 100 acres.
The city state started expanding into the sea in the 1880s, with further territorial extensions in the late 1950s, 60s, 70s, in 2002, and its latest one, Portier Cove, set to complete in 2025.
Indeed, a significant portion of Monaco’s coastline has been expanded by land reclamation projects, including areas of La Condamine, the Larvotto beach district, as well as the new district of Fontvieille.
More recently, Monaco’s Port Hercules, the principality’s only deep-water port, was expanded by reclaiming land from the sea. This expansion has allowed Port Hercules to accommodate larger cruise ships, as well as provided much-needed space for a new Yacht Club.
Here we take a look at some of Monaco’s most famed land reclamation projects including the district of Fontvieille and the soon to be completed Portier Cove.
Fontvieille: A spectacular land reclamation project
Looking back through Monaco’s history, one of the city states largest land reclamation projects was in 1970 with what is now the district of Fontvieille. Through this ambitious project of reclaiming land from the sea, Monaco extended its territorial footprint by some 20 percent.
Today the bustling land reclamation district of Fontvieille is home to myriad apartments, offices, resorts, restaurants, and attractions.
Here you’ll find the Stade Louis II, the home ground of AS Monaco FC, the Monaco Heliport that provides frequent links to Nice Airport, the Monaco Top Cars Collection, and the Museum of Stamps and Coins.
Fontvieille is also home to one of Monaco’s two ports, as well as the tranquil Princess Grace Rose Garden, making this a popular district with families.
Portier Cove: The land reclamation project of the future
Portier Cove has been dubbed Europe’s most ambitious construction project, and, given the scope of the land reclamation development, it’s easy to see why. Set to cost an estimated $2.4 billion, Portier Cove will expand the principality of Monaco by some six hectares.
The district will include super prime apartments and luxury villas, in addition to commercial spaces, and a new marina. Portier Cove will also include a pedestrianised seafront promenade, as well as a number of green open spaces, offering a vibrant place to live, work, and play.
The entire land reclamation project has been designed with sustainability in mind, and will include a number of innovative green technologies too, including solar panels, e-bike stations, thermal pumps and rainwater recovery systems. Indeed, Portier Cove has been designed specifically to ensure that its energy consumption is in line with Monaco’s ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.
With so many ambitious land reclamation projects under its belt, all eyes will be on Monaco as to how it continues to reclaim land from the sea in the future.
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