Sunday, September 30, 2007

Liechtenstein is worth the stop

Liechtenstein is but a glance

There is a little small country between Austria and Switzerland that is only about 35 miles across called Liechtenstein. The central landmark of Vaduz is the Castle, actually a medieval fortress expanded in the 16th and 17th century. The earliest explicit mention of the fortress was in a document with which Court Rudolf von Werdenberg-Sargans pledged the fortress to Ulrich von Matsch. The owners at the time – and probably also the builders – were the counts of Werdenberg-Sargans.

The basic structure of the Chapel of St. Anna was probably established in the High Middle Ages. The main altar is late Gothic. In the Swabian War of 1499, the Swiss burned down the Castle. The round tower was built from 1529 to 1532. The western side was expanded by Count Kaspar von Hohenems (1613 – 1640).

Since 1712, the Castle has been in the possession of the Princes of Liechtenstein. The Castle served as a temporary seat for the imperial administrator, but the large part of the building became increasingly dilapidated. Under Prince Johann II, the Castle was finally extensively restored from 1905 to 1912 and was later converted into a residence by Prince Franz Josef II. The Castle has been the permanent residence of the Princely Family since 1938. It is not accessible to the public.

Prince Hans-Adam I, who reigned from 1699 to 1712, was the founder of the Principality Liechtenstein, thanks to his purchases of the Lordship of Schellenberg (1699) and the County of Vaduz (1712).

Prince Hans-Adam II and his four brothers and sisters grew up with their parents at Vaduz Castle. He attended primary school in Vaduz then entered the Schotten gymnasium high school in Vienna in 1956.

In 1960 he graduated with both the Swiss and German high school diplomas in 1965. Afterwards, Prince Hans Adam II worked as a trainee at a bank in London. In addition to his native tongue, German, the Prince speaks English and French.

On 30 July 1967, Prince Hans Adam II married Countess Marie Kinsky of Wichnitz and Tettau (born 14 April 1940 in Prague). They have four children.

After stopping on the main street we stopped at a street café where we could view the castle which was directly over us. Our thoughts make us wonder what it would be like being a King, Prince or Queen as those who lived just above.

Like many before me, I walked just down the street to the post office and bought the commemorate stamps and any souvenir sheets the country had produced for my stamp collection. When I sold my collection it was full of stamps for this country.

Genesis 25:16
“These are the sons….. And these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.”

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