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History of Menton

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Within the confines of the Côte d’Azur and the Ligurian Alps, the Menton seigneury first appeared in the 12th Century. At this time Menton belonged to the Genoan Family, Vento.

In 1346, Menton was under ownership of Charles Grimaldi, Lord of Monaco. From hence, Menton’s history became intertwined with that of the principality of Monaco. In 1848, Menton broke away from the principality and proclaimed itself a free city under the protection of Sarde.

Menton chose to become part of France in 1860 and Charles III of Monaco released all rights of the city to Emperor Napoléon III. Menton became part of the Alps-Maritimes department.

The new local economy, tourism, developed from 1880 onwards. Menton became a popular "Winter Resort" Up until 1914 hotels and villas welcomed rich guests from England, Russia and all over the world during the beautiful clement days of winter.

During the first world war, the city transformed the hotels and palaces into hospitals. Annexed by the Italians, then the Germans during the second World War, Menton was liberated on the 8th of September 1944. The town was completly devastated and it was not until the 60’s that the re-building of Menton was concluded. It then regained its appeal as a much favoured tourist destination both in winter and summer.

Today, Menton is a dynamic city, which, in the last 10 years has become much more modern, better equipped and even more beautiful.

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