Liechtenstein is a landlocked country between Switzerland and Austria. In fact, it is double land locked because the countries surrounding Liechtenstein, Austria and Switzerland, are also land locked.
In case you didn’t know, ‘landlocked’ means Liechtenstein has no coastline!
It is a very small country and almost everyone knows everyone else.
Population: 37, 623 (2015)
Key Cities: Schaan, Triesen, Balzers.
Official Language: German
Major religions: Roman Catholic and Protestant
Bordering countries: Switzerland, Austria
Size: 160 sq. kms.
Lowest Point: Ruggeller Rief, 430 m.
Highest Point: Grauspitz 2 599 m.
Liechtenstein is a small, but beautiful country. It is covered with evergreen forests and Alpine flowers. The eastern two thirds of the country are the foothills of the Rhatikon Mountains, and part of the Alps. The peaks of the mountains are covered with snow.
The valleys are drained by the Samina River and the Ill River, making a triangular lowland.
A drainage channel built in 1930 has made it less of a marshy country, which has also improved the agricultural activities in the country.
In Liechtenstein you will find a wide variety of plant life – beautiful flowers, bulrushes and reeds. Mare’s tail, a type of grass, grows there and the countryside always looks attractive.
The country is home to a wonderful variety of wildlife. Red deer, roe deer, chamois, foxes, badgers, polecats, stoats and weasels as well as many birds.
Liechtenstein is known as a small country with a very long history. Her story began when they were once part of the Roman Empire. The Roman province Raetia, now part of Liechtenstein, became a dynasty in the thirteenth century and was ruled by feudal lords.
In 1719 Charles VI, the Holy Roman Emperor, told the people there would be a joined territory called Liechtenstein with Vaduz and Schellenberg joining together to become one territory. When the Holy Roman Empire was taken over by France and Napoleon, Liechtenstein joined the German Confederation.
The country settled a new constitution and in 1921 Franz Joseph II became the first ruler to live in the castle in Vaduz. William Beck, a lawyer demanded more power for the people.
The country made a customs agreement with Austria, and the Swiss Franc became the currency.
Liechtenstein was a neutral country, but several other countries used her land as a place for their troops to stay during different wars. Napoleon rested his troops in the country back in the 1800s, and during the First and Second World War, other countries did the same.
Today Liechtenstein is known as a constitutional Hereditary Monarchy that operates on a democratic and parliamentary basis. In 1990, the country joined the UN as the 160th member. They also strive to keep good relations with their neighbours Austria and Switzerland.
Liechtenstein has no valuable natural resources. The country has to import raw materials including wood. They do not have any heavy industry and the products they do make include metal work items and pharmaceuticals. They are noted for the beautiful Swarovski crystal figurines that are made there.
Tourism is the leading feature of the economy. Banking has features as another business system to help improve Liechtenstein financially.
This small country has a very active culture. The people love creating interesting and exciting experiences.
They have a carnival season called Fasnacht. It is celebrated from Dirty Thursday to Carnival Tuesday. There is a Bonfire Sunday, the Sunday after Ash Wednesday. Wood is set alight to drive away the Winter cold.
The ceremony of ‘Bringing down the cows’ takes place in autumn. Cows are led through the villages wearing colourful headdresses made of flowers and wearing bells round their necks.
The Wine Festival is celebrated when the grapes have been collected and everyone celebrates with friends while enjoying a big meal.
Stephanie Vogt is a professional tennis player. She won eleven singles and ten doubles on her ITF tour.
Thomas Beck, a Liechtenstein football striker, played for the National team and won 92 caps.
Erhard Berner was a highly decorated General Major in the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. He was awarded the Knights cross of the Iron Cross for extreme battlefield bravery and military leadership.
Julia Hassler is an Olympic and national record holding swimmer. She was the closing ceremony banner bearer for Liechtenstein.
Once a year everyone in the whole country is invited to the king’s castle to have a beer in the garden. His Serene Highness Prince Hans-Adam, invites everyone to the Vaduz castle the princely ancestral residence.
The national anthem Oben am Jungen Rhein (Up Above the Young Rhine) is sung to the same tune as God Save The Queen, the English national anthem.