Sunday, May 15, 2016

Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Ever heard of the country of Liechtenstein? It's a itty bitty country in between Switzerland and Austria, with ~36,000 people and only 62 square miles! Most of the people are located in the country's capital, Vaduz or in the nearby town of Schaan. Since Vaduz is the capital, we decided to check it out.  

Honestly, if we weren't looking for it, we would've driven right through it and had no idea. Before we reached Vaduz, we were literally straddling the border!

The most prominent landmark of Vaduz is Vaduz Castle, the home of the reigning prince of Liechtenstein and the Liechtenstein princely family. The castle is visible from almost any location in Vaduz, being perched atop a steep hill in the middle of the city.

The castle underwent a major restoration between 1904 and 1920, then again in the early 1920s during the reign of Prince Johann II, and was expanded during the early 1930s by Prince Franz Joseph II. Since 1938, the castle has been the primary residence of Liechtenstein's Princely Family. Unfortunately, the castle is not open to the public as the royal family still lives in the castle. 

 I was upset to find out that the castle isn't open, but it was still a beautiful castle to visit. You can either walk up to the castle, or drive up and park and walk down a couple blocks. We ended up doing the latter, I would suggest doing this as well since the parking lot is fairly close.

The point of stopping off in Vaduz was to break up our trip down to Switzerland. Since the castle was closed to visitors, we decided to head to the downtown area. It is literally one main street, food, shops, souvenir stands, T.I. It is all located in this area. I can't seem to find my pictures on it. But if you're in the area, it is worth taking a stop, especially if you need proof that you've actually visited Liechtenstein, because if you blink, you might miss it!