|Fürstentum LIECHTENSTEIN||Principality of LIECHTENSTEIN|
Vaduz, the capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein, is situated at an elevation of 460 m on the right bank of the Rhine river. The municipality, consisting of Vaduz proper and six smaller exclaves, has a population of about 5,500 (2017).
Faduzes was first mentioned in 1175/1200 (two mentionings of "1021" turned out to be later falsifications). The name is derived from the old romansh auadutg ('moat' or 'millstream'), which itself is derived from Latin aquaeductus. The County of Vaduz was created in 1342 following a partition of the county of Werdenberg. In 1396 it was granted imperial immediacy. After the line of succession of the Counts of Vaduz expired in 1416, the territory was bought in a feud from the Barons of Brandis, which maintained their sovereignty until 1507, when the county passed to the Counts of Sulz, who acquired the northern and bordering Lordship of Schellenberg. In 1613 both territories, while remaining distinct, were sold to the counts of Hohenems. Prince Johann Adam Andreas (Hans Adam I) of the Liechtenstein dynasty (named for Liechtenstein castle, today in the municipality of Maria Enzersdorf, Austria) bought Schellenberg and Vaduz in 1699 and 1712, respectively, from the indebted counts of Hohenems. On 23 January 1719 Emperor Karl VI united Schellenberg and Vaduz to the Principality of Lichtenstein as a member state of the Holy Roman Empire and thus Prince Anton Florian became the first sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein. As a testament to the pure political expediency of the purchases, the Princes of Liechtenstein, however, did not set foot in their new principality for alost 100 years. In 1806, Liechtenstein joined the Confederation of the Rhine. In 1815, the Congress of Vienna confirmed the sovereignty of Liechtenstein; in the same year, the principality joined the German Confederation, presided over by the Emperor of Austria. In 1818, Prince Johann I granted the territory a limited constitution. In that same year Prince Aloys II became the first member of the House of Liechtenstein to set foot in the principality that bore their name. The next visit would not occur until 1842. Until the end of World War I, Liechtenstein was closely tied first to the Austrian Empire and later to Austria-Hungary. A few days after the annexation of Austria by Germany, Prince Franz Joseph II moved his residence from Vienna to Vaduz. During World War II, Liechtenstein remained neutral, while family treasures from dynastic lands and possessions in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia were taken to Liechtenstein for safekeeping. After the war, Czechoslovakia and Poland expropriated the entirety of the Liechtenstein dynasty's properties in those three regions. The expropriations (subject to modern legal dispute at the International Court of Justice) included over 1,600 km² of agricultural and forest land and several family castles and palaces (Lednice, Valtice, Velké Losiny and 14 others). Today, the country has a strong financial sector centered in Vaduz. Liechtenstein is a member of the United Nations, the European Free Trade Association, and the Council of Europe, and although not a member of the European Union, the country participates in both the Schengen Area and the European Economic Area. It also has a customs union and a monetary union with Switzerland.
Vaduz castle [left], previously also named Hohenliechtenstein,
is situated on a rock terrace about 120 m above the town. The origins of the castle seem to date back to the
12th century. The earliest known written document mentioning the castle dates from 1322. In 1338 the castle came in
possession of the counts of Montfort and later of their descendants, the counts of Werdenberg.
The castle was enlarged in the following centuries under the counts of Sulz and the counts of Hohenems. Since 1719
it is in possession of the Princes of Liechtenstein. As the princes did ot reside here but rather in Vienna or in their
many other estates in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, the castle was used as the seat of the bailiff. However, later on
the castle slowly fell into dereliction. Frst renovation works were undertaken in 1905–1912. Since 1939 Vaduz castle
is the residence of the princely family. Being a private property of the family, the castle is not open to the