After Place Joséphine Baker and Place d’Armes, Monaco Tribune continues to explore the Principality’s different neighbourhoods. This month, we head to Le Rocher to find out about rue Émile de Loth, its medieval feel and the person behind the name.

The streets are narrow and stifling. Pedestrians feel overwhelmed by the height of the buildings, but also amazed by the warm tones of Provençal architecture. No doubt about it, we have arrived in a medieval village: Monaco-Ville.

In this part of the Principality, you can hear Monegasque, Italian or French spoken. Shopkeepers and inhabitants chat on street corners, talking about the latest AS Monaco match or debating the latest health measures. There is very much a small village atmosphere.

Located in the heart of Le Rocher, rue Émile de Loth is a lively place, dotted with bits of history. Formerly called rue des Briques (Brick Street), the site hosts MonacoTown Hall, hides the museum of Old Monaco behind a small door, but also the back of the Cathedral and its intimate terrace where you can enjoy the local cuisine.

After crossing the Carrugiu Émile de Loth, from the Palace in the west to Place de la Visitation in the east, there is still no sign of Monsieur de Loth’s identity.  There is a clue, but it is a little obscure: the Town Hall.

rue des Briques. Undated photo © Jean-Paul Bascoul Collection

The Town Hall for more than 40 years

In fact, Jacques-Émile de Loth frequented Monaco Town Hall for 40 years. He was deputy to the mayor for 36 years, then held the function himself from 1907 to 1911, date of the new Constitution, which transformed the Principality from an absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy.

A lawyer by trade, Émile de Loth served as administrator in more than a dozen Monaco institutions. He lived through two princely reigns and had a CV that would make ambitious people blush: Tunis consul, then United States consul in Monaco, honorary president of the chamber of defence lawyers in the Court of Appeal, chancellor of the Order of St. Charles …

Born in Castellane in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the lawyer adopted the Principality, and the Principality adopted him: after 60 years of residence in Monaco, he obtained Monegasque nationality in 1907 by order of Prince Albert 1st.

On Thursday May 13, 1920, the inhabitants of Monaco learned the sad news of the passing of Jacques-Émile de Loth at the age of 90. An important figure in the Monegasque political landscape, Louis Notari gave the eulogy during his funeral at the Cathedral.

Crossroads of rue de l’Eglise and rue Emile de Loth. Undated photo © Jean-Paul Bascoul Collection