Liechtenstein Fun Facts: Learn More About This Landlocked Country | Kidadl


Liechtenstein Fun Facts: Learn More About This Landlocked Country

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Liechtenstein is one of the smallest countries in the world.

This gorgeous country is landlocked between countries like Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a double landlocked country as the surrounding places are also landlocked, meaning they don't have a coastline either.

This small and beautiful country is covered with evergreen forests and Alpine flowers. Nestled into the Apennines, this country is one of the most exquisite European destinations with snow-capped mountain peaks, vast stretches of forests, and several stunning turreted castles. It also has only one natural lake.

But there is much more to this small country than its beautiful environs. Despite its size, it is a member of the UN (United Nations), FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), and International Olympic Committee. Liechtenstein has a landmass of about 61.8 sq mi (160 sq km) and a population of about 40,000 people. One of the wealthiest countries, it is divided into 11 different municipalities, and its capital is Vaduz.

Did you know that Liechtenstein is one of the world's wealthiest countries? As per GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita income, this country's unemployment rate is only 1.7%. Also, this country has many private banks, robust financial networks, and is a tax haven.

Another very fascinating fact about Liechtenstein is that the country's national anthem, 'Up Above The Young Rhine,' has a similar tune as the national anthem of Britain. Although the words of 'Up Above The Young Rhine' are different, the tunes of the two are very similar. This similarity was discovered during a UEFA Euro match between two European countries, Liechtenstein and Northern Ireland, when the same national anthem was played twice.

Liechtenstein is also the only country in the world to offer an official 90-minute lunch break. In 2011, the entire country was put up on Airbnb. Anyone could rent Liechtenstein for a fee of $70,000 a day. Incredible, right? Read on to know more such fascinating facts about Liechtenstein, its history, culture, and more.


Liechtenstein is a principality that has a very long and rich history. Established in 1719 within the Holy Roman Empire, Liechtenstein became a sovereign state in 1806.

The Principality is located between Austria and Switzerland in central Europe. As one of the smallest countries in Europe, the nation was acquired by the Liechtenstein royal family. Prince Hans Adam of the nation also bought the Imperial Territory of Schellenberg as well as the Country of Vaduz. Some years later, i.e., in 1719, he amalgamated the two territories, forming the Principality of Liechtenstein, a member state within the Roman Empire. The Principality was christened after the prince's family name for its political value.

In 1805, education was mandated in the Principality. And the responsibility for constructing schools for education was given to the municipalities. However, they were unable to enforce proper education regulations resulting in unequal opportunities for the Principality's residents.

Moving on, 1806 marked the year of independence of Liechtenstein, which primarily stemmed from a special bonding between Prince John I of Liechtenstein and the French Emperor Napolean. From 1806 to 1815, the country was counted as a part of the Association of the Rhine, and from 1815 to 1866, it was included in the German Confederation. Post-1866, Liechtenstein became independent.

All through its history, Liechtenstein has been a quiet, rural corner of the world. It has maintained its position as a neutral country during both World War I and World War II. The country has always remained unaffected by all of its European neighbors.

However, after World War II, Liechtenstein underwent a significant phase of industrialization, led by Francis Joseph II. He served the country as its prince until 1989, after which his son, Hand Adam II, took over.

Today, Liechtenstein is known as a constitutional Hereditary Monarchy. The country operates on a democratic and parliamentary basis. In 1990, under the governance of Hans Adam II, Liechtenstein joined the UN as its 160th member. The nation also strives to maintain good and healthy relations with its neighbors, i.e., Switzerland and Austria.

Culture And Traditions

Liechtenstein has a great cultural treasure in the form of the prince's art collection. This art collection dates back to the early 16th century. Housed in the capital city of Vaduz, it is, in fact, the second-largest private art collection in the entire world. This collection is only surpassed by Britain's royal family, which is considered the finest in the world.

Liechtenstein's art collection comprises several masterpieces that cover a vast range of topics and periods. It also includes sculptures, silver and porcelain ornaments, tapestries, along with paintings by Botticelli, Rubens, Breughel the Elder, Rembrandt, and other artists of the Renaissance period.

Did you know that the country raised money for its operations by selling art? In the late 1960s, Liechtenstein faced some serious financial issues. So, to deal with the problem, the royal family sold their copy of one of Leonardo da Vinci's paintings to the National Art Gallery based in Washington. At that time, the country received a hefty amount of $5 million from the sale of one painting.

Currently, the Liechtenstein family's art collection is split between Vienna and the Vaduz Castle. A fun fact is that ever since the sale of da Vinci's painting in 1967, Liechtenstein's art collection has exponentially grown in size. As of now, many pieces of art are on loan for display in China.

Liechtenstein also has a strong tradition of music. You can easily find many vocal ensembles and bass brands in the country's rural areas. Also, the cities of Balzers and Vaduz are best known for their well-admired operetta companies.

It should be noted that this gorgeous country has an immensely active culture. The people of the place are warm, welcoming, and love exciting experiences. Every year, the country hosts a carnival season called Fasnacht. The season is observed from Dirty Thursday to Carnival Tuesday. There is also a Bonfire Sunday. This is the Sunday that comes after Ash Wednesday. On this day, wood is set on fire to drive the winter cold away.

The people of Liechtenstein also observe a ceremony of 'Bringing Down The Cows' in autumn. In this, cows are led through the villages adorned with bright and vibrant headdresses made of flowers together with bells around their necks.

The gorgeous Vaduz Castle is a must-visit spot during spring.

Economy And Politics

Until World War II, Liechtenstein was a relatively developing country that predominantly survived on agriculture. There were a lot of unemployed people in the country that ultimately led to migration to nearby areas, such as Switzerland and Austria, in search of job opportunities.

However, very soon, the country's economic situation changed for good. Currently, Liechtenstein offers almost as many work opportunities as there are inhabitants. It has become a magnetic pole of growth for attracting a large chunk of people from nearby areas.

The economy of Liechtenstein primarily developed after the 1940s. This was after it created an exclusively export-focused industrial sector. In 2006, 44% of the total workplaces in the nation were counted as goods production units.

Apart from this, the financial services sector also grew manifold. Although offering employment to only 15% of the total population, this sector generated almost one-third of Liechtenstein's overall domestic product.

Liechtenstein has turned itself into an affluent and highly industrialized economy despite the country's size. The country has one of the highest per capita income levels in the world. The nation's economy is hugely diversified with a proliferation of several small and medium-sized businesses, especially in the service sector. Affordable business taxes (a flat fee of 12.5%) together with easy incorporation rules have prompted many holding companies to establish offices in Liechtenstein, generating 30% of state revenues.

Liechtenstein partakes in a customs union with Switzerland and uses the Swiss franc as its nation's currency. It also imports over 90% of its energy requirements.

Liechtenstein has long been a member of the European Economic Area. It is an organization that serves as a mediator between the European Union and the European Free Trade Association. The government of the country is taking proactive steps to further harmonize its economic and fiscal policies with those of an integrated EU.


What was invented in Liechtenstein?

The CURTA was invented in Liechtenstein. It was the world's smallest automatic calculator that was built in big numbers. The CURTA was patented by the inventor Curt Herzstark from Vienna in 1938.

What is Liechtenstein famous for?

Liechtenstein is famous for its massive list of historical sites. This includes Vaduz Castle, the ruins of Schellenberg, the Red House, and the Gutenberg Castle. Apart from this, the country is also well-known for its extensive private art collection that is pompously displayed at the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna.

How is Liechtenstein so rich?

Liechtenstein is the wealthiest country per capita. It has a favorable corporate tax structure along with freewheeling incorporation regulations that have promoted many organizations to set up offices in the country's capital city Vaduz.

Who owns Liechtenstein?

Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy that the Prince of Liechtenstein leads. In 2004, Prince Hans-Adam handed over the running of the Principality to his son, Crown Prince Alois. However, he still is the official head of the state.

What language is spoken in Liechtenstein?

German is the official language of Liechtenstein.

Why does Liechtenstein have a king?

Liechtenstein is one of the few countries in the world to be governed by the King. It is a Principality that operates on a democratic-parliamentary basis. This implies that Liechtenstein is a sovereign nation where the responsibilities are split between the Reigning Prince and its people.

<p>With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".</p>

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