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Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein. Autor Michael Gredenberg. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike
Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein. Autor Michael Gredenberg

Liechtenstein: a small principality situated in the Alps

Liechtenstein (Fürstentum Liechtenstein) is a small principality, wshich is embedded in the Alps between Switzerland and Austria. The country is a constitutional monarchy, divided into 11 communes (Gemeinden) and has Vaduz as its capital.

The principality is not part of the European Union and is the sixth smallest independent nation in the world in land area (after the Vatican, Monaco, Nauru, Tuvalu and San Marino).

The area of Liechtenstein is formed by mountains and valleys. In the east is the highest peak of the country, the Grauspitz with 2.599 metres, while the western border with Switzerland is marked by the river Rhine.

Liechtenstein’s economy is thriving thanks to favorable tax policy implemented in the principality. The main activities are the manufacturing industrie and the services (banking). Tourism also plays an important role.

Map of Liechtenstein

Map of Liechtenstein

The region of the Liechtenstein was occupied by the Romans, a Roman road crossed the territory in south-north direction along the course of the river Rhine. Liechtenstein has originated in the Middle Ages when the County of Vaduz and the Lordship of Schellenberg were joined to form a single state entity. The nation was strategically located along a transit route between Austria and Switzerland.

It was only at the beginning of the eighteenth century that Liechtenstein became an independent principality as a fief of the Holy Roman Empire. The principality was ruled as a hereditary constitutional monarchy through the male line, by the family, of Austrian origin, Liechtenstein.

The principality of Liechtenstein is a state without an army. In fact, since 1868, has declared neutral and its neutrality was respected during the First World War and during the Second World War.

English text correction by Dietrich Köster. 

  • Area: 160 sqkm
  • Population: 35,000.
  • Capital city: Vaduz
  • Official language: German.
  • Religion: Catholics (76%), Protestants (7%), Muslims (5%).
  • Currency: Swiss franc (CHF)
  • Time: Central European time UTC +1. (In the summer Daylight Saving Time UTC+2).

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