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The Principality of Liechtenstein (German: Liechtenstein Karte) is a tiny European nation nestled away in the Alps. The country is named for the Liechtenstein family, who are the royal family, who were themselves named for the Liechtenstein Castle, built in the 12th century. The name means "bright stone" in German, and refers to the building materials of the castle. As a principality, the country is ruled by a constitutional monarchy with a prince at the head.
In ancient Rome, the land that is now Liechtenstein was called Raetia, and was one of many fiefs of the Habsburgs. During the Thirty Years' War, the country faced invasions from Austria and Sweden. Liechtenstein became an independent principality of the Holy Roman Empire in 1719. About 100 years later, Liechtenstein became part of the German Confederation, until it gained independence in 1866 and the confederation dissolved. After it achieved independence, Liechtenstein was guided by the Habsburgs, especially to handle military ventures and foreign policy. When the Habsburg monarchy was abolished, Switzerland took over the duties to represent Liechtenstein. Prince Franz Josef II took the throne of Liechtenstein in 1938. Along with Switzerland, Liechtenstein was able to remain neutral during World War II, though there were conflicts with Czechoslovakia. With the prince's death in 1989, Prince Hans-Adam II ascends to the throne.

Liechtenstein began representing itself at international organizations, and in 1990 it joined the United Nations, and soon after, became a member of the European Free Trade Association.

Neighboring Countries
Liechtenstein is wedged between Switzerland and Austria.

Major Cities
  1. Vaduz (capital)
  2. Schaan
Liechtenstein is a small nation set in the Alps, between Austria and Switzerland. As a doubly landlocked country, Liechtenstein has no water boundaries and is completely surrounded by two countries that also do not have water boundaries. Liechtenstein is one of only two countries with that status worldwide (the other being Uzbekistan). However, along Liechtenstein's western border, the Rhine river flows. The Rhine Valley makes up the western third of the country, with plains along its shores.

With its location high in the Alps, the terrain is largely mountainous. Liechtenstein's highest point is at Grauspitz mountain, situated in the Ratikon range along the Swiss border. It stands 2,599 meters (8,527 feet) above sea level. The lowest point is at Ruggeller Riet, which has an elevation of 430 meters (1,410 feet).

Liechtenstein is only 24 kilometers (15 miles) across at its widest point.

Points of Interest
Liechtenstein is known for its castles, including the Vaduz castle (Schloss Vaduz in German), which is home to the royal family of Liechtenstein. Since it continues to serve as the royal residence, visitors are not allowed to enter the palace. Other architectural sites of interest include the Vaduz Cathedral and the Red House, also in Vaduz, castle ruins in Schellenberg, the Gutenberg Castle in Balzers, and the country's traditional farmhouses.

The snow-capped peaks of Liechtenstein are a popular destination for skiing and snow sports, making Liechtenstein a great winter destination for outdoor excursions. Outdoor recreation opportunities are found year-round, however, with hiking and mountain biking trails.

Liechtenstein does not have an airport of its own, however, there are several international airports close by in neighboring countries that provide easy access to Liechtenstein. Zurich Airport in Switzerland is the best bet, though other options include St. Gallen-Altenrhein, also in Switzerland, and Friedrichshafen in Germany.

The railway system in Liechtenstein is well developed, offering service from Switzerland and Austria several times each day. Buses are another good option, with a complex system of long-distance buses available. The roads of Liechtenstein are well maintained and safe, though there are many dangerous curves through the mountains.

To get around there city buses, and plenty of bike lanes. It is not uncommon for people to bike across the entire country as it is so tiny.


Last Updated on: June 12,2020

The official flag of Liechtenstein was adopted on June 24, 1937. The Liechtenstein flag consists of two horizontal stripes in blue and red color with a golden crown on the blue stripe.
Largest CitySchaan
Area61.776 sq miles
Official LanguageGerman
CurrencySwiss Franc (CHF)
PrinceHans Adam II