Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Vaduz is the capital of a European country and has a population of around 5,000 people - in total there are around 37,000 Liechtensteiners.  The country plays in the World Cup and other international tournaments and usually ends up bottom of the league - which is not surprising in the circumstances and all credit to it for playing!  The good news about its football is however that we can park our vans at the national stadium car park for CHF0.50 per hour with a maximum charge of CHF4 and at the weekend it is free!  

Vaduz probably dates back to around 1322 when it was founded by the Counts of Werdenberg. What is today the princely castle must have been founded around the same time.  In the 17th century the Liechtenstein family was seeking a seat in the Imperial diet, the Reichstag. However, since they did not hold any territory that was directly under the Imperial throne, they were unable to meet the primary requirement to qualify. However it managed to acquire what is today the area around Vaduz which gave them the right to sit in the Reichstag and in turn gave birth to the Principality of Liechtenstein.  Once that was settled, none of the Princes of Liechtenstein bothered to set foot in their principality for over 120 years.

Today the princely family resides at Vaduz Castle which looks over the town, national stadium and its car park.  The castle was formerly a jail and an inn before needing renovation for the princely family. It is out of bounds to visitors, however there is a well marked trail to walk up to see it which offers wonderful views over the town and mountains all around.  

The Cathedral of St. Florin, Government House and City Hall are also well-known landmarks. The National Art Gallery as well as the National Museum are located in Vaduz. The art gallery (Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein) is a museum of modern and contemporary art, also showing displays from the private princely Liechtenstein Collection, the main public display of which is in Vienna. The building is an architectural landmark built by the Swiss architects Morger, Degelo and Kerez. It was completed in November 2000 and forms a “black box” of tinted concrete and black basalt stone. The museum collection is also the national art collection of Liechtenstein. The Liechtenstein National Museum is showing a permanent exhibition on the cultural and natural history of Liechtenstein as well as special exhibitions. There are also the Postage Stamp Museum and a Ski Museum.

 

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