Despite Liechtenstein's tiny size it is an interesting place to visit. Many holiday makers travelling by coach, from Austria to Switzerland, or vice versa, would make a scheduled stop in Liechtenstein. Sometimes the visit may be brief and only last an hour or so but this tourist trades helps Liechtenstein's coffers.
Geographical facts and figures.
Liechtenstein has a land area of 160 square kilometers. It was inhabited by almost 35,000 people in 2004. It borders Switzerland in the south and west, and Austria in the east and north. It is a landlocked country.
Liechtenstein's Early History
The area occupied by modern Liechtenstein has been populated since around the fifth millenium BC. Archaeological discoveries have helped assess these time-lines. Items of worship have been found along with remnants of early settlements.
The original population of Liechtenstein were Raetians. However, proof of Celtic influences have also been discoverd.
By the year 15BC Raetia had been discovered by the march of the Roman Empire. By the 5th Century the Roman Empire was starting its rapid fall and things began to change.
There followed centuries of change for Liechtenstein, many which involved the country being ruled by outsiders. The 17th Century was a testing time for Liechtenstein in many ways.
The early 17th Century saw Liechtenstein under yet another leader but worse was to follow. There were repeated episodes of plague, and the devastation that such outbreaks can bring. Involvement in the 30 years war, and witch-hunts that resulted in many innocent people being persecuted and executed, added to Liechtenstein's problems.
Although Liechtenstein had royal links early in the 17th Century, it only became an Imperial Principality in 1719. The country's name Liechtenstein, came at this time, from its owner of the day, Prince Johann Adam Andreas of Liechtenstein.
Liechtenstein's Capital City is Vaduz
Its people are a mixture of Alemannic (87.5%), Italian, Turkish and other (12.5%)
The languages spoken are German, Alemannic dialect
Religions are Roman Catholic (80%), Protestant (7.4%)
The currency is the Swiss Franc (SFr)
Liechtenstein's major political parties are Progressive People's Party (FBP), Patriotic Union (VU), Free Voter's List (FL)
Liechtenstein's government is a hereditary constitutional monarchy, on a democratic and parliamentary basis.
The Head of State is Prince Hans-Adam II. Since 15th August 2004 Prince Alois has handled day-to-day affairs.
Liechtenstein's Prime Minister is Otmar Hasler, Progressive People's Party. This is since April 2001
Liechtenstein's Foreign Minister is Rita Kieber-Beck, Progressive People's Party. This is since April 2005
Although Liechtenstein's terrain is well suited for hiking and ski-ing, Summer is one of the best time's of the year to visit this lovely country. The country benefits from a mountainous region, as well as lowlands. The scenery is consistently beautiful.
The capital of Liechtenstein, Vaduz, has a wealth of museums, wine tasting and art collections, for such a small place.
Switzerland and Liechtenstein share many customs and similarities.