Getting to know Liechtenstein usually starts from the capital Vaduz. The ancient city, which is picturesque in the upper reaches of the Rhine River, is famous for its centuries-old history and its amazing atmosphere, reminiscent of the scenery of an ancient fairy tale.
In the capital, the Old Town is most notable, with its authentic medieval churches and narrow, cobblestone streets. The most famous architectural monument of the Old Town is the stat castle of Vaduz. Built at the turn of the 12th to 14th centuries, it remains to this day the principal residence of the ruling dynasty of the principality.
The medieval castle stands majestically on the top of the hill, from which you can enjoy just vertiginous views of the all tiny Liechtenstein. It is possible to climb to the castle on foot, but even in the most good weather usually takes at least an hour. The road to the castle is quite picturesque. Along the way you can admire the rustomatic alpine scenery.
Please note that most of the year the interior of the castle is inaccessible to tourists, but occasionally local historians still organize small group tours, during the course of the which you can view the most luxurious rooms of the castle, as well as admire the magnificent paintings from the Prince’s private gallery.
The doors of the castle are open only once a year. Every year on August 15, the National Day of Liechtenstein, local aristocrats have a feast on the patio and invite all residents and guests of the state to enjoy the delicious dishes of the national kitchens. This holiday is traditionally accompanied by a vibrant city carnival and mass folk celebrations.
In addition to Vaduz Castle, the hallmark of the capital is also the ancient Cathedral with a simple laconic facade and bell tower. Often wrapped in thick mists the cathedral is not so easy to find in the Old Town. It is located just away from the rest of Liechtenstein’s sights. Its modest appearance is a little lost against the background of other historic buildings.
Saint Florin is considered the main patron saint, but it is known that Saint Florin of Remus has never been in Liechtenstein and has nothing to do with that place.$ The Holy Righteous has long been regarded as the patron saint of wine, and since the territory of the Principality has been cultivated for centuries some of the best vineyards in Europe, it is not surprising that in due time the royal family built a cathedral in honor of this saint.
The cathedral building is constructed in a strict neo-Gothic style. Its main entrance is decorated by a two-sided stone staircase with wrought-iron railings, and the main tower clearly displays tall Gothic windows and a vintage gilded clock with a dark red dial. Beautiful sculptures of the Virgin Mary can be seen in the niches near the temple. Inside the temple are the burials of many famous royal personalities.
Liechtenstein’s most beautiful castles undoubtedly include Gutenberg Castle, located in the community of Balzers near the Swiss border. The first mentions of the castle date from the middle of the 13th century, however, according to the assumptions of historians, the construction of the castle began much earlier.
Rising on top of a 70-metre hill, the castle has always occupied an advantageous strategic position, so in the Middle Ages it was used predominantly as a powerful fortification and protective structure. Most of the time the entrance to the castle is closed for tourists, but sometimes there are various cultural events within its walls. On all sides the castle is surrounded by numerous vineyards, and to the east of it there are picturesque ruins of the ancient church of St. Nicholas.
Among the natural attractions of Liechtenstein are the Three Sisters Mountain. The scenic rock with three high peaks is part of the Alpine Mountains. It is located in the nearby surroundings of the capital near the Austrian border.
The elevation of the highest peak reaches 2053 meters above sea level. The summit of one of the mountains is adorned by the barely visible ruins of a medieval castle that was once the prince’s private residence. A well-preserved Gothic castle with a cappella dating from approximately the 9th century can also be seen on one of the peaks.
Liechtenstein’s museums are very interesting and unusual. The National Museum of the Principality is located in a medieval building built in the middle of the 15th century. It is noteworthy that once there was a princely residence here, but at the end of the last century the old building underwent considerable restoration, after which the walls of the residence were placed National Museum. Today, the museum’s extensive collections are mainly represented by items related to the history of the principality.
Fans of modern modernist art should visit the Museum of Fine Arts, located in the capital of the principality. In the museum’s expositions, the works of modern masters are widely represented, among which there are particularly significant paintings from the Prince’s personal collection.