"Liechtenstein is a little Gem" Top 5 Page for this destination Liechtenstein by mtncorg
Liechtenstein Travel Guide: 451 reviews and 1,258 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: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
Though the castle is not open, you can wander close by, in order to take photographs and enjoy the view from up high... more travel advice
They lived in the simple home pictured here for most of the 19th Century - the Majoratspalais on Bankgasse, just off the... more travel advice
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