Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Liechtenstein: Small But Mighty


Named after the family who purchased it, Liechtenstein is Europe’s fourth-smallest country behind the Vatican, Monaco and San Marino. The tiny principality on the Swiss/Austrian border, widely parodied in fiction and films like The Prisoner of Zenda and The Mouse That Roared, was part of the “Great Country Tour” to Heidiland.

German nobles sold their land to Austrian prince Johann Adam Von Liechtenstein in the early 18th century and the small country gained independence in 1866. In the early 20th century, Prince Franz Joseph became the first monarch to live in the country and began transforming the poor rural nation into today’s rich banking state.

One of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world (a landlocked country entirely surrounded by other landlocked countries), Liechtenstein feels so small because most of it is mountainous.

A thin plain -- basically the basin of the Rhine River -- separates Liechtenstein from Switzerland on the west. It is the only European nation to lie entirely within the Alps.

Despite, or perhaps because of, its limited natural resources, Liechtenstein is one of the few countries in the world with more registered companies than citizens.

It has developed a prosperous and highly industrialized free enterprise economy with a prosperous financial service sector and high standard of living among its citizens.

The country has had a customs union with Switzerland for nearly 100 years.


Walking the streets of Vaduz, it’s clear that Liechtenstein is affluent, with a well-designed center of government and a sophisticated cultural focus.  The Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein is an international museum of modern art with a world renowned collection.

Here’s a fun fact from Lonely Planet: Switzerland. In its last military engagement in 1866, Liechtenstein lost none of its 80 soldiers. In fact, 81 returned including a new Italian “friend.” The army was disbanded shortly afterward.





2 comments:

caliy said...

Merry Christmas,
You are so interesting! I don't believe I've truly read through anything like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality! If you want to read Funny Christmas Speech you have to see the link
Thank you,

Unknown said...

Hi,
The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one.New Year Greetings For Business I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I truly thought you would probably have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.
Thanks