A chronology of key events:
1297 - A member of the exiled Grimaldi family from Genoa - Francois - seizes the fortress of the incumbent Genoese rulers of Monaco.
late 1400s - Monaco's sovereignty is recognised by the duke of Savoy, the pope and the king of France.
1524-1641 - Grimaldi family allies itself with Spain and Monaco comes under Spanish protection.
1793 - French Revolution - the Grimaldis are deposed and unification with France follows.
1814 - Monaco is returned to the Grimaldis and becomes a Sardinian protectorate until 1860.
1861 - Monaco's independence restored under the Franco-Monegasque treaty.
1911 - Monaco's first constitution drafted, providing for an elected National Council to share legislative power with the prince.
1929 - First Monaco Grand Prix, won by Britain's William Williams.
1949 - Death of Louis II; Prince Rainier III succeeds his grandfather.
1956 - Prince Rainier marries Hollywood actress Grace Kelly. The couple met at the Cannes film festival in 1955.
1959 - Prince Rainier suspends Monaco's elected National Council because of a row over the budget.
1962 - The prince restores the National Council and introduces a new, more liberal constitution.
1982 - Princess Grace dies following a car accident near Monte-Carlo.
1993 - Monaco joins the United Nations, becoming its smallest member state.
2002 April - Constitution revised. A new succession law is passed, designed to keep the Grimaldi family on the throne even if Crown Prince Albert fathers no heir.
2002 August - Monaco takes delivery of a huge floating jetty, set to double the capacity of its port.
Tax haven status
2004 April - OECD places Monaco on blacklist of uncooperative tax havens.
2005 April - Prince Rainier dies at the age of 81. In July Prince Albert is sworn in as head of state. A cathedral ceremony in November completes the formal succession.
2008 December - Monaco scraps plans to expand into the sea through an ambitious land reclamation project, citing the international financial crisis and environmental concerns.
2009 May - OECD removes Monaco from blacklist of uncooperative tax havens.
2011 July - Prince Albert marries Charlene Wittstock.