Saint-Charles Church

This impressive Renaissance-style building with its 30-metre tall bell tower was inaugurated in 1883. 

A little history

In 1879, Prince Charles III ordered the construction of a place of worship in the new Monte-Carlo district. The new church was dedicated to Charles Borromée, “that this glorious patron may forever protect his person, his family, the faithful of Monte-Carlo and all the Principality”. Mrs Marie Blanc, widow of the Casino’s Director, donated the piece of land on which the church is built to the Principality. It was previously occupied by a former private chapel dedicated to Saint Lawrence.

The project was overseen by Parisian architect Charles Lenormand, who had been working on Monaco’s new cathedral since 1875. Following extensive preparatory excavations, the founding stone was laid and blessed by Mgr Charles Theuret on 11 November 1879.

The church was completed and opened for worship on Easter Monday, 26 March 1883, then made parish church on 15 March 1887. It was consecrated on 9 November 1912 by Msg Jean-Charles Arnal du Curel, second Bishop of Monaco. The parish was entrusted to the Congregation of Clerics of the Mother of God, and later, in 1950, to  the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales.

In 1983, to mark a century of worship at the church, Prince Rainier III ordered extensive restoration work to be carried out on the building’s interior. The walls and bell tower had been severely damaged by the sea air and pollution, and were completely renovated in 2003. Nineteen stained glass windows illuminate the nave, where the gilded chandelier comes from the old arms room at the Prince’s Palace.