Stade Louis II Monaco - A Philatelic History

There have been two stadiums in Monaco with the name Stade Louis II. The first one, built in 1939, had surely one of the most visually appealing aspects in all of football, sat alongside the Mediterranean and underneath the looming hulk of the Rock of Monaco, it was officially inaugurated on 24 April 1939 and a stamp was issued to commemorate the event. The example below is postmarked Monaco-Ville, one of Monaco's traditional quarters and is the district that sits atop the Rock overlooking the stadium.

The Stade Louis II became the home of football's AS Monaco but also hosted other sporting events. It featured on more stamps issued in 1939 when the same shot was used on the 5-value University games set. Here they all on one cover again with a Monaco-Ville postmark.

The Stade Louis was to appear on more Monegasque stamps. It featured on one of the 1952 Helsinki Olympic games set and in 1963 one stamp depicting the stadium was part of a wonderful set issued to commemorate the Centenary of the Football Association. The stamps from this set were adeptly marketed and many philatelic items were produced. For example there are lots of different first day covers available all with different cachets and arrangements of the stamps. One example of the Stade Louis stamp on FDC can be seen at the link above whilst two more are shown below. The Stade Louis stamp from this set featured the club crest of AS Monaco and was overprinted with Championnat 1962-1963 Coupe de France to honour Monaco's league and cup double of that season.

In the early 1980s it was decided to build a new Stade Louis II. The site chosen for the new stadium was on land reclaimed from the sea in the Fontvielle district not far from the old ground. Two stamps were issued during the construction, one in 1982 and another in 1983 and when, in 1985 the ground was officially opened two more were issued.

A two part modern architecture set was issued in 1987 with one of the stamps featuring an aerial shot of the stadium. The FDC below has a striking cachet showing the stadium's arches albeit only four of the nine it actually has are used in the illustration.

Next up are a couple of stamps celebrating the success of AS Monaco. The club became French Champions for the sixth time in 1997 and this was commemorated with a stamp showing the club crest, the Stade Louis and a football with a map of Western Europe.

The red and white diamond background (fusily argent and gules) represents the heraldic colours of the House of Grimaldi which rules Monaco. This explains the date range shown in the right hand tab. 1297 is when the House of Grimaldi first took possession of Monaco making the AS Monaco title triumph of 1997 a rather nice 700th birthday present for the Principality.

AS Monaco were honoured with another stamp in 2000 when they again won the French title. This time only the iconoc nine arches of the stadium were present on the stamp. Finally to conclude our short philatelic history of the Stade Louis II we finish with the stamp that was issued in 2005 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the new stadium.

Further reading on Monaco ...