‘I’ve long been fascinated by Liechtenstein and we managed to visit in 2019 when its 300th birthday celebrations were in full swing…’
Our recent visit to the tiny Principality and its 37,000 residents wasn’t spurred by the fact that it was celebrating its 300 birthday; it was just a happy coincidence. Plus, it was really close to our main base in Innsbruck, so paying a visit was an opportunity I wasn’t going to pass up.
A brief history
In 1719, Liechtenstein began its run as an imperial principality, while remaining part of the Holy Roman Empire. Fast forward to 1806 and it was granted sovereignty through the Confederation of the Rhine. These days, it plays an important role in Europe, despite not officially being part of the European Union, and its royal family still rules over the teeny state.
Liechtenstein is a mere 62 square miles in size and is double-landlocked, with Austria to the east and Switzerland to the west. The principality is headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein and the cultural and political capital lies in Vaduz. The official language is German, but most residents speak a dialect that’s pretty different from the standard language. Liechtenstein has a very low crime rate, with the last recorded murder taking place more than 22 years ago.
What’s on in 2019?
The Landesmuseum in Vaduz has a special anniversary exhibition on show from Feb 2019 until Feb 2020, exploring the history of the principality from 1712 to 1772.
One Country. One Trail: a pathway that leads through the entire nation and takes in the most historic areas of Liechtenstein. The trail is 75km long and has an overall walking time of 21 hours.
LIstory App: a special app designed to celebrate the 300th year of Liechtenstein will be launched in May 2019. The main focus of the app is history and points of interest and will be available for download anywhere in the world.
National Holiday 300: this is a new public holiday and festival day, taking place on August 15th. A party will be held in the Rose Garden of Vaduz Castle before residents and visitors will spill down on the streets of Vaduz for an all day fiesta.
In The Footsteps of the Princes of Liechtenstein: a 7 day tour has been organised to retrace the history of the principality’s Royal Family and their ties. The tour takes visitors to Austria and Czech Republic, with visits to the famous wine cellars and castle in Liechtenstein itself.
I was completely charmed by Liechtenstein in every way. The people were genuinely friendly (like Canadian friendly…), the scenery was stunning and the transport was a breeze. We stayed in Triesenberg was just outside of Vaduz and was a quiet town with a very relaxed atmosphere.