"Liechtenstein is a little Gem" Top 5 Page for this destination Liechtenstein by mtncorg

Liechtenstein Travel Guide: 477 reviews and 1,327 photos

Liechtenstein is an anomaly from earlier days. The country is the lone survivor from the Holy Roman Empire, a nebulous feudal affair that used to made up of hundreds of little Liechtensteins. The country name derives from that of the ruling family, a family that joined itself at the hip to the Hapsburgs for centuries. From services rendered the Liechtenstein family had acquired vast regions throughout the Hapsburg empire, but the family held these lands underneath other more senior feudal lords. Being ambitious for not only lands but also prestige, the family was able to buy the little Lordship (Herrschaft) of Schulenburg - the northern area of today’s country - and the county of Vaduz. These lands recognized no other feudal personage but the Holy Roman Emperor. They were said to be ‘unmittelbar’. Charles VI, both the Hapsburg Emperor and the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, united the small country into a Furstentum - Principality - and elevated the Liechtenstein family to the ranks of Princes. This also allowed the family entrance to the highest halls of power in the Holy Roman Empire, the Reichstag.

Political aspirations gained, it wasn’t until 120 years later that the ruling Prince actually set foot into the Principality and the Prince continued to live in his other domains further east in the Hapsburg domains. The Nazi Anschluss of 1938 finally brought the Princely family home to Vaduz, where they reside today. Politically and economically, the country had been tied to the fortunes of the Hapsburg Empire until that entity dissolved in 1918. Since that time, the Furstentum has tied itself to the fortunes of the Swiss. Even though the ruling family lost over 600 square miles of lands in Czechoslovakia and Poland, confiscated following WWII, the Princely family has managed to retain wealth estimated at $4 billion. The country is a constitutional monarchy, but the Prince does retain powers that are significantly greater than those found in other constitutional monarchies.

History aside, the country has some magic hidden away for those who take the time to look. Trails cover much of the country giving you an intimate look at the land. Neighboring Swiss and Austrian trails can combine for a perfect hiking vacation.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful mountain walking - a great glimpse of the Alps
  • Cons:Too many banks and too many people passing through to say they have been there
  • In a nutshell:Wake up to the bells of the cows, high in the Alps
  • Intro Updated May 2, 2003
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Reviews (14)

Comments (18)

  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Thanks for this view of Liechtenstein, Mark. Interesting idea for the berggasthaus in Steg. Cheers, Mark

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    Hi, Mark! ~ It's a Dream Country, thanks for your wonderful pictures and stories!

  • May 12, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    I visited Liechtenstein on numerous occasions while living in Germany. Regrettably, I never ventured off into the mountains; my journeys were limited to the hunting of rare and out-of-print books in Vaduz. The countryside seems so peaceful.

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2008 at 7:27 AM

    I'm looking forward to visiting the Liechetenstein museum in Vienna next time I'm there - it was just getting ready to open when I was there in 2003.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2005 at 4:02 AM

    Nice to see that your Liechtenstein-page is mainly about the mountains of this small pricipality. It brings back great memories of the time, when I was working for some time in Triesenberg.

  • themajor's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2005 at 2:07 PM

    The Majoratspalais has to be a must for me! The Saminatal folk tale is delightful and the walking guides excellent - do you have any sitting guides too? Next time you must get a photo of some of the dodgy international tax-evading bank account holders!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2005 at 2:12 PM

    More of your great mountain photos and tips! There is regular train service, though, to Schaan-Vaduz. You just have to change trains in Buchs or Feldkirch to get there.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2005 at 3:33 AM

    If these pages can't tempt people into walking, nothing will!

  • andal13's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2004 at 4:31 PM

    But... did you get any postage stamps??? ;-)

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2004 at 1:28 PM

    Really interesting page Mark! Great tips : o)

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