The 26 best sights in Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein is a small fiefdom whose name is derived from the family name of the ruling dynasty in the country. Nevertheless, on its territory quietly coexist high mountains, ancient castles and Catholic cathedrals.
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Who should come here and why
Despite the lack of large cities and any large towns, Liechtenstein has many historical monuments – after all, the history of this small state began during the Holy Roman Empire. Not surprisingly, on its territory, ancient castles sit side by side with Gothic churches and modern museums.
Liechtenstein is a great place for fans of skiing, cyclists, mountain climbers and just fans of outdoor activities. Skiers and snowboarders can descend on the slopes on the Reticon Ridge, in the mountains Falknis and Rauspitz, as well as in the ski resort Malbrun.
Philatelists yearn for Liechtenstein – the rarest stamps are produced here, and collectors from all over the world hunt for them.
Another reason to visit Liechtenstein – the local wines. Even the head of state is not squeamish about producing wine products – he has his own winery in Vaduz.
The residence of the ruling dynasty of von Lichtenstein dates back to the 12th century, but monarchs did not come to like the castle until the 19th century. Its location is on a hill in the upper Rhine, so the castle overlooks the city and can be seen from everywhere. Vaduz is open to the public only once a year – on August 15, the day of state formation.
was built in 1313 in honor of the victory of one noble Ruska family over another – Visconti. Since then, the castle passed from one nobleman to another. Little is left of it now, except for the 15th century chapel. Something was destroyed by itself, something was demolished by successive owners of the castle.
Of all the constructions in the capital this castle is perhaps the most ancient. It was built during the Roman Empire, in the I century BC. There are not many of the old buildings left – for example the White Tower of the XIII century, and the Arsenal of the XIX century.
In Balzer Castle tourists can explore only the lower courtyard of the fortress. And get into the inner rooms can be only during the events. The date of construction of Gutenberg – 1263. The castle has long passed from hand to hand, although for 500 years it was inhabited by members of the Habsburg dynasty. Then it fell into private hands, and it was the last owner who restored the castle.
Next to Gutenberg Castle are the ruins of St. Nicholas Church, designed by Gustav von Neumann.
The neo-Baroque building is the trademark of Liechtenstein. Despite its relative youth (the Government House was built at the beginning of the twentieth century), it is as beautiful and grandiose as the older sights of the capital. The building looks very bright and even festive, and its facade is decorated with a mural depicting the coat of arms of the Principality.
Vaduz Town Hall
This town hall was built a little later, in 1932. It is noteworthy that much more money was spent on its construction than originally planned. To cover the debts, the government had to rent part of the building for 50 years.
The town hall is decorated with the coat of arms of the commune of the principality and frescoes. The most interesting of these is a fresco depicting the god of winemaking, Urban, in the form of the Pope. Inside hang portraits of all the princes of the dynasty. Next to the town hall is the sculptural group by the Swiss sculptor Nag Arnoldi – three horses, made in the Cubist tradition, that is, they don’t look much like real animals.
The Red House
This house is visible from any point of the capital of Liechtenstein, and it is called red because of the facade, lined with bright red bricks. The monastery of St. John was located here in the 19th century. A tower for a millstone used to crush grapes was added to the monastery, as the monks were engaged in wine-making.
The house is now privately owned, and one of its previous owners, Egon Reinberger, a sculptor and architect, had a hand in its rebuilding. By the way, wine is still made here.
One more house, which has all the same relation to the noble families of Rheinberger, but to another noble representative of them – the composer Josef Gabriel von Rheinberger. The musician was born and grew up in this house in 1839. Nowadays the building houses the School of Music, and a bust of the composer stands in front of it.
Bridge over the Rhine
The wooden bridge-tunnel is not really a local landmark only. One half of it belongs to Liechtenstein and the other half to Austria. It was once the only bridge in the country to cross the Rhine.
Cultural sights and museums
Liechtenstein State Museum
The museum was first located in one of the castles of the Principality, but then it began to move from place to place until it remained permanently in a former tavern.
The museum exhibits utensils from the Church of St. Lawrence of Shan, as well as knight’s armor, weapons, a collection of coins, jewelry, handicrafts, ancient books, the very first stamps and miraculously preserved medieval carpets. In addition, the museum has expositions devoted to archeological findings on the territory of the country and its natural riches.
Liechtenstein Postal Museum
Branch of the State Museum, located in the English House in the capital, was specially created for the preservation of a unique collection of stamps issued by the post of the Principality. The office made stamps on various subjects, but they were all united by their high quality and limited edition. In addition to the stamps, the exhibit includes printing presses, sketches of unissued signs and old photographs.
Copies of the 25 most interesting stamps were imprinted in the asphalt at various points in the city.
Museum of Art
It is also called the “black box” for its unusual shape. A cube-shaped building of tinted basalt and concrete holds paintings and sculptures from the 19th century, as well as paintings by modern masters. Also on display in the museum is the private collection of Prince Lichtenstein.
At the entrance is a three-meter statue of a reclining woman in bronze, the work of the Colombian sculptor Fernando Botter. She symbolizes the dormant soul of the world.
Cultural Center of Triesen (Kulturzentrum Gasometer)
It is located in the building of the old cotton weaving factory, built in 1863. By the way, it is one of the few local monuments of the industrialization era. Gasometer is a perfectly preserved gas tank, which has supplied the plant with gas for 120 years. In this unusual center there is an exposition of ancient weaving looms and no less ancient blacksmith workshop. Periodically, art exhibitions and various cultural events are held in the building.
Walsermuseum in Triesenberg
Triesenberg Walsermuseum grew out of a small collection of exhibits that the local pastor began collecting in 1943. At first the museum was located in a house built in 1601 called Walserhaus, and later it was moved to a new multi-storey building. The museum exhibits reconstructions of peasant life: utensils, personal belongings, agricultural tools. One floor is occupied by an exhibition of woodwork by the sculptor Rudolf Wredler.
The castle stands high on a rock and used to be the city jail of Vaduz. The interior buildings have not survived – they were destroyed by fires. Nowadays, music festivals and games reenactments of medieval events are mostly held there.
Natural attractions and parks
Three Sisters Mountain (Dry Schwestern)
Of the three separate peaks, the highest reaches 2,053 m. On the tops of the mountains are the ruins of the old castles. You can get there on foot – special hiking trails have been developed for this purpose. There are also more difficult and interesting routes for climbers.
The 15-kilometer trail goes from Schellenberg to Bendern and takes you to the most beautiful views and landscapes of Liechtenstein: the mountain peaks, valleys with tucked into the green with neat mountain villages and dense forests.
Malbrun ski resort
This resort is located at the foot of Nospitz and Zeireroch. It is designed for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. There are pistes for beginners and professionals, as well as a freestyle park.
Personal winery of the Prince of Liechtenstein
Quite an interesting place not only for wine lovers. The fact is that there are extensive vineyards here, where visitors are allowed to walk around, enjoying the views of the nearby mountains and towering castles on top. In the winery itself, you can taste and buy local wines from the prince’s own stocks – by the way, they are not exported, so you can’t find these varieties anywhere else.
Church of St. Joseph
The church in Trisenberg has been standing on a hill since the 18th century. The building is made of simple gray stone and its roofs are of wood. It is noteworthy that on the tower of the cathedral stands quite an Orthodox “onion”. The interior decoration of the temple is also quite simple – wooden beams on the vault, a wooden crucifix, but the special charm of this unpretentious church is given by bright stained glass windows and a real organ.
Church of St. Lawrence
A very old building in the town of Schaan (Eschen) that dates back to 1100. However, since then, only the bell tower has remained of it – the rest of the building has turned into ruins. However, a few sculptures were saved and passed to the museum.
The Cathedral of St. Florin
The cathedral in Vaduz was built in 1868. The saint in whose honor the church was named, was famous for turning water into wine, following the example of Jesus Christ. However, this righteous man has never been in Vaduz. Interesting features of the cathedral’s architecture are the stone staircase and two sculptures of the Virgin Mary.
Cathedral of Santi Pietro i Stefano
Also in Vaduz. It is a dilapidated Gothic cathedral rebuilt in the 15th century – inside you can still see Gothic frames with stucco from the old church, as well as 18th century murals by visiting Italian painters.
Church of St. Fridolin
The church in Rugella was built in honor of the saint of the same name, who in the 5th century brought the light of Christian faith to the pagans of these places. The date of construction was 1617. The church was quite standard for those times: one nave, an altar and a tower. But at the end of the XIX century it was rebuilt according to the design of the Austrian architect Gustav von Neumann.
Church of St. Gallus
This church was built in Trizene in 1455, but in 1994 the old building had to be torn down due to the state of disrepair and was rebuilt from scratch. The sculptures of Erasmus Kern and the black marble font are from the old church and can still be seen inside.
St. Mamerta’s Chapel
The oldest chapel in the country is also located in Trizen. According to various sources, it was built in the IX or early X century. And the tower near the church appeared only in 1448, when the restoration and reconstruction of the chapel began. But of particular interest are the interior frescoes and the late Gothic triptych.
10 Highlights of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein is one of the dwarf states of Europe, or rather a principality located on the border of Austria and Switzerland. It is a small enclave of prosperity, stability and high standard of living. The whole country has about 40 thousand people, the largest city has 6 thousand inhabitants. In the law enforcement agency has only 120 employees.
Liechtenstein is nestled among the picturesque Alps. The quiet streets of Schaan and Vaduz sparkle with mountain peaks, scattered alpine meadows and forests. To visit the principality will be interesting for fans of skiing, cyclists and just fans of active recreation.
In a short time in Liechtenstein you can manage a lot: to see castles scattered among the mountains, to sunbathe on comfortable beaches on the banks of the Rhine, to enjoy the luxury of hotels and impeccable service.
What to see in Liechtenstein?
The most interesting and beautiful places, pictures and short descriptions.
The structure was built back in the early Middle Ages. Its owners were descendants of the noble family of Verdenberg-Sargans. Later the castle was restored and expanded with new buildings. Today Vaduz serves as the official residence of the reigning prince, and is open to tourists only on August 15. A festival is held in honor of this national holiday.
A magnificently preserved medieval fortress in the south of the state, one of the most iconic landmarks. It is believed to have been built in the XI-XII centuries. The castle rises 70 m above the surrounding countryside, and the courtyard has a rose garden and a Gothic chapel. There are often festivals, theater troupes perform here. Only during the festivities everyone can enter the territory.
This is located in the capital city of Vaduz, is an architectural monument of historical value (came under protection in 1992). The building appeared in the early twentieth century, the architect Gustav von Neumann during the construction emphasized the neo-Baroque style. The building looks very neat and smart and fully fits into the surrounding landscape. The Government House is a jewel and a calling card of the capital.
Vaduz Town Hall
The building is used for meetings and meetings of the city council of the capital. The architecture is characterized by German austerity and Swiss precision, with laconic forms and functional elements. In the meeting room is a gallery of portraits of the Princes of Liechtenstein, as well as the town mayors. The town hall was built in 1932 under the direction of architect F. Reckle.
The Stadle Street
Pedestrian street, on which the main attractions of the capital are concentrated. Here in cozy cafes you can leisurely drink coffee with fresh pastries or visit the numerous stores. On the Städle is a large number of interesting sculptures, which create a special atmosphere in this place. There is also a postal museum, the English House and some administrative buildings.
Vaduz Cathedral (Cathedral of St. Florin)
A neo-Gothic church built in the 19th century on the site of an old medieval church. The cathedral is dedicated to one of the local saints and patrons of Florin of Remus. Despite the fact that the cathedral is Catholic, the appearance and interior decoration is more in line with Protestant canons – modesty and restraint in the decoration of the walls, statues, lack of rich decoration and unnecessary pomp.
Liechtenstein State Museum
In this place you can get acquainted with the history of the country, learn interesting facts and comprehend the events that took place here over the centuries. The museum consists of two ancient and one modern building, and there is also a small branch in the municipality of Schellenberg. There are collections of antiques, paintings, weapons, dishes, and various objects that once belonged to the princely family of Liechtenstein.
Liechtenstein Postal Museum
Located under the supervision of the State Museum, the date of foundation is thought to be 1930. It contains a large collection of stamps issued in the principality since 1912. The exhibition also contains documents concerning postal affairs, engraving tools, printing machines, sketches of stamps and uniforms of letter carriers. The museum regularly organizes temporary exhibitions with exhibits from other galleries.
Liechtenstein Art Museum
A modern building that opened in 2000. It is a museum of contemporary art, as most of the exposition consists of fashionable installations and interesting art objects, among which the sculptures deserve special attention. The building is a black cube, the walls are decorated with pebbles from the Rhine River. Also in the museum houses a huge private collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein.
The Three Sisters Mountain (Drei Schwestern)
A natural landmark on the border between Liechtenstein and Austria. At the foot is a castle and chapel from the IX century, at the top are the ruins of another castle, once a princely residence. Around the mountain there are several climbing routes of varying difficulty, from the top there is a picturesque view of the valley. The peaks rise above the capital of the principality, the city of Vaduz.
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