22 August 2007

'Malizia' - François Grimaldi - 1297


In the 12th century, the Geneose were granted sovereignty over the port and the Rock of Monaco by the Emperor of Germany. In 1215, the fortress (now the Prince's Palace) was built.

These were years of struggle between the Guelfs (partisans of the Pope) and the Ghibellines (supporters of the Emperor). In 1295, with the coming into power of the Ghibellines, the important Genoese Grimaldi family, who had taken the part of the Guelphs, were forced into exile in Provence and in 1297, Francesco Grimaldi, known as 'Malizia' (malice), disguised himself as a monk to gain entrance to the fortress. His ruse worked, the gates opened to let him in, thus enabling his soldiers to take the garrison by storm.

The two monks featured on the coat of arms of the Grimaldi family commemorate this battle. This statue stands outside the Palais Princier on Le Rocher.

4 comments:

oldmanlincoln said...

When I look at statues like this one and when I see others with swords and think what life was like in those days. I get all wound up in history. I always wonder what it felt like to be sliced in half by some bloke weilding a two ton sword, or being stabbed in the eye with a pike? People are really cruel and seldom think of the consequences of their action. Then we come back to the statues and sculptures of people who led totally different lives and I get wound up in them and their times. It is a nice pass time but I need to get on visiting other bloggers. Thanks for your visits.

isabella said...

Fascinating stuff, Jilly! A bit like the Trojan Horse ;-)
Well, what's done is done...I understand that their subjects adore present Grimaldis!

• Eliane • said...

Does Albert know about this?

Coltrane_lives said...

"Malizia" in a Grimaldi? Jilly, what a fascinating account of some violent times. I wasn't aware of this story...until now.

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