The official residence of the Prince of Monaco, the Prince's Palace, has been the home of the Grimaldi family since the end of the 13th century. It was founded in 1191 as a Genoese fortress but was captured by Francois Grimaldi and his men on January 8, 1297. Francois Grimaldi disguised as a monk and asking for shelter, managed to get inside by an unwitting guard and led the attack from there. The Grimaldi's, an aristocratic family of Genoa, were ousted some time before of their home during a conflict about the authority of Pope Innocent IV. The statue of Francois Grimaldi dressed as a monk is standing in front of the palace.
The Prince's Palace is open for visits from April 2 to October 31. During your visit you can see the State Apartments, the royal courtyard, 16th-century Genovese frescoes, a spectacular double-revolution staircase and much more. The changing of the guards takes place daily at 11:55 in the Palace Square.