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Principality of Liechtenstein
Flag of Liechtenstein
Coat of arms of Liechtenstein
flag coat of arms
Motto : "For God, Prince and Fatherland"
Official language German
Seat of government Vaduz
Form of government Unified state based on a parliamentary principality
Government system Constitutional monarchy with a hereditary monarch at the head of the state on a democratic- parliamentary basis
Head of state Prince Hans-Adam II (represented by Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein )
Head of government Adrian Hasler
surface 160.5 (measured in 2006) km²
population 38,650 (December 31, 2019)
thereof 34.0% foreigners
Population density 237 inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 0.9% (2019) per year
Gross national product CHF 5,032 million (2015)
Gross national product per inhabitant 134,000 CHF (2015)
gross domestic product CHF 6,053 million (2015)
Human Development Index   0.912 ( 15th ) (2016)
currency Swiss Francs (CHF)
founding January 23, 1719
independence July 12, 1806 (admission to the Rhine Confederation )
National anthem up at the young Rhein
National holiday 15th of August
Time zone UTC + 1 CET
UTC + 2 CEST (March to October)
License Plate FL
ISO 3166 LI , LIE, 438
Internet TLD .li
Phone code +423
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Schweiz Österreich Schaan Ruggell Schellenberg Gamprin Gamprin Eschen (Liechtenstein) Eschen (Liechtenstein) Planken Planken Vaduz Vaduz Vaduz Vaduz Vaduz Schaan Schaan Schaan Schaan Triesenberg Triesenberg Balzers Balzers Balzers Triesen Mauren (Liechtenstein) Vaduz Vaduz PlankenAdministrative structure: two constituencies, eleven municipalities
About this picture
Administrative structure: two constituencies , eleven municipalities
Topographic map
Topographic map

Liechtenstein [ ˈlɪçtn̩ˌʃtaɪ̯n ] (officially the Principality of Liechtenstein ) is a landlocked country in the Alpine region of Central Europe and the sixth smallest country in the world . According to its constitution , it is a principality that is organized as a constitutional hereditary monarchy on a democratic-parliamentary basis. The House of Liechtenstein provides the sovereign ; the sovereignty is equally divided between prince and people.

In the west, the Alpine Rhine forms the border between the Alpine countries Liechtenstein and Switzerland ; in the east the principality borders on Austria . The state is divided into two constituencies and eleven municipalities . The capital and seat of the prince is Vaduz . The largest place is Triesenberg , the most populous place is Schaan . The merged villages of Schaan, Vaduz and Triesen together form an agglomeration with around 16,900 inhabitants. The strongly cultivated north ( Unterland ) and the less cultivated south ( Oberland ) characterize the landscape of the principality.

With 38,650 inhabitants, Liechtenstein is the smallest state in the German-speaking area. The official language is German ; the Liechtenstein dialects spoken in everyday life belong to Alemannic . The proportion of foreigners is around 34 percent.

The Principality once belonged to the Holy Roman Empire on, in 1806 it acquired through its membership of the Confederation of the Rhine , the sovereignty . It then became a member of the German Confederation and leaned against Austria until 1919, also because of the connections between the sovereigns. Liechtenstein is a member of the United Nations (UN) and the European Economic Area (EEA) , but like Switzerland, it does not belong to the European Union (EU) .

Liechtenstein is a successful business location and has one of the highest industrial quotas in the world with around 41 percent of gross value added from industry and the goods-producing trade. Since 1923, Liechtenstein has had close administrative and economic ties with neighboring Switzerland through a customs treaty . In addition, the Swiss franc was introduced as a means of payment in Liechtenstein at that time . These steps had a very positive economic effect, although the actual upswing in Liechtenstein only began after the Second World War .


Liechtenstein is a tiny state on the right bank of the Rhine in the Alps , surrounded by the Swiss cantons of St. Gallen in the west (on the opposite bank of the Rhine) and Graubünden in the south and the Austrian state of Vorarlberg in the east and north. Its state border with Switzerland in the west corresponds to the course of the Rhine, while the southern and eastern state border is characterized by the high alpine mountains, the Rätikon . Most of the border with Austria runs on the mountain ridge . Besides Uzbekistan , Liechtenstein is the only landlocked country that is in turn surrounded exclusively by landlocked countries.

The country covers an area of ​​160,477 square kilometers, making it the fourth smallest country in Europe and the sixth smallest on earth. It measures 24.77 kilometers at its longest point and 12.35 kilometers at its widest.

Liechtenstein borders on Switzerland for 41.2 kilometers, of which 27.2 kilometers are in the canton of St. Gallen and 14 kilometers in the canton of Graubünden. The length of the state border with the Republic of Austria (federal state Vorarlberg) is 36.7 kilometers. The largest town in terms of inhabitants is Schaan .

On the Alp Bargälla , east of Gaflei , is about 120 m southwest of the alpine hut on the Sami valley side at 1721  m above sea level. M. the geographical center of Liechtenstein.

Natural structure

View to Balzers and Triesenberg

Liechtenstein is divided into two landscapes, the Rhine valley in the west as the main settlement area and the Samina valley with secondary valleys in the east. The latter changes the border in the further course and flows into the lower Walgau Vorarlberg at Frastanz . This part of the country is separated from the Rhine Valley by a mountain ridge 1000 to over 2000 meters high, is hardly populated and makes up about a third of the country's area.

The country is further divided into two regions, the Unterland and the Oberland. The Unterland includes the communities north of Schaan and Planken (roughly on the line of the Three Sisters ), while the Oberland includes the southern part of the principality. In terms of natural space, these two regions differ in that the Oberland is more dominated by the alpine mountains, while the Unterland mainly - with the exception of the Eschnerberg  - extends over the Rhine Valley plain.

Of the land area, 11 percent is settlement area , 33 percent agricultural area , 41 percent forest area and 15 percent unproductive area .


The front Grauspitz (l.)

Around half of the Liechtenstein national territory is made up of mountains. Liechtenstein lies entirely in the Rätikon and is thus - depending on the division of the Alps - assigned to the Eastern Alps (division of the Alps into two parts) or the Central Alps (division of the Alps into three parts).

The highest point of Liechtenstein is the Vordere Grauspitz ( Vordergrauspitz ) with a height of 2599  m above sea level. M. , while the lowest point is the Ruggeller Riet with a height of 430  m above sea level. M. represents.

In total there are 32 mountains in Liechtenstein with a height of at least 2000 meters. The Falknishorn is at 2,452  m above sea level. M. the fifth highest mountain in Liechtenstein and represents the southernmost point of the country. The three-country triangle Liechtenstein-Graubünden-Vorarlberg is the Naafkopf ( 2570  m above sea level ).

In addition to the peaks of the Alpine chain, which are part of the limestone Alps , two island mountains protrude from the Rhine Valley, the border mountains Fläscherberg ( 1135  m above sea level ) in the south and the Eschnerberg ( 698  m above sea level ) in the north , which form the Helvetic blanket or flysch zone of the Alps. The Eschnerberg is an important settlement area in the Liechtenstein Unterland.


Liechtenstein is located at the western end of the Rätikon and thus at the geological western end of the Eastern Alps . The country occupies a central position in the east-west Alpine border area.

The geological structure of Liechtenstein is formed in three regionally different sea areas that arose both at different times and in different deposit environments . The deposition milieus form the three-part geological structure of the principality in storey-like ceilings: Below are the western Alpine, Helvetic limestone Alps . The rocks come from the Jura and the Chalk . The sedimentation took place in a shallow sea that gradually became deeper. In addition to limestone , sandstones and marl were also formed .

In the middle, east of the Rhine , to which Liechtenstein borders in the west, is a mighty layer package with various flysch rocks. They are assigned to the Penninic . The formation of the marine deposits is dated to the Upper Cretaceous and the Old Tertiary . Their composition consists of alternating layers of claystone , sandstone, marl and sand-lime stone. The southern flysch zone was pushed over by a mass of sediment.

The top geological level of the Eastern Alps is formed by the Lech Valley cover, which in Liechtenstein is divided into clods.


Geomorphologically, Liechtenstein consists of two parts: on one side there is the plain along the Rhine in the west, while on the other side in the east there are high mountains. A geological peculiarity is that the western end of the Rätikon forms the geological end of the Eastern Alps as part of a microplate torn off from Africa . The rocks of the Liechtenstein mountain and hilly landscape consist almost entirely of marine sediments. The sediments consist of three different layers that come from different bodies of water: At the top is the Lech Valley cover , which is formed from several clods and lies over a large layer of flysch rock. The Western Alpine Limestone Alps are located under the flysch rock layer . They were created in the Mesozoic and Tertiary in the "primordial Mediterranean" Tethys through lithogenesis . Via tectonic movement processes that came from the south and east, the African plate with the European nappes of the Helveticum and the flysch were pushed over and under . As tectogenesis surrendered elongation processes , folds , Metamorphoses , Verschuppungen and fracture formations .

Short watercourses formed on steep valley slopes. This led to the emergence of torn valleys , ditches , gutters and ravines . Due to the easily weatherable rock of the flysch and the main dolomite located there at the same time , rubble cones and heaps have formed. At the end of the Würm Ice Age , during which glaciers up to 1700 m high were to be found in the area of ​​today's Liechtenstein, ice flows of the Rhine glacier were deposited , which carried moraine material with them that were transported from the south. Around 14,500 BC The Rhine Glacier had finally withdrawn from Liechtenstein territory. On the south-eastern flank of the Eschnerberg, drumlins up to 1,600 m long appeared.


The Rhine as a border river to Switzerland

The Rhine is the most important and largest body of water in Liechtenstein. Over a length of around 27 kilometers, it represents the natural border with Switzerland and is of great importance for Liechtenstein's water supply. In addition, the Rhine is an important local recreation area for the population. The Samina is 10 kilometers, the second longest river of the principality. The white water river has its source in Triesenberg and flows into the Ill in Austria (near Feldkirch) .

The only naturally formed lake in Liechtenstein is the Gampriner Seelein , which was only formed in 1927 when the Rhine was flooded with massive erosion. There are also other man-made lakes that are primarily used to generate electricity. One of them is the Steg reservoir , the largest lake in Liechtenstein.


The location in the Rhine Valley has a major impact on Liechtenstein's climate.

The country's climate is relatively mild despite the mountainous location. It is strongly influenced by the action of the foehn (warm, dry fall wind), which extends the vegetation period in spring and autumn and temperatures around 15 ° C are not uncommon in winter due to strong foehn. The upstream Swiss and Vorarlberg mountain ranges protect against Atlantic and polar cold air, creating a typical inner-alpine protective layer . The principality has orchards with littered meadows and a long tradition of viticulture . The small spatial extent of Liechtenstein hardly plays a role in the climatic differences, whereas the vertical structure in different altitudes is of great importance , so that significant climatic differences arise.

In winter the temperature rarely drops below minus 15 degrees, while in summer the mean temperatures fluctuate between 20 and 28 degrees. The measurements of the annual precipitation amounts on average to around 900 to 1,200 millimeters, in the direct Alpine region, however, the precipitation is often up to 1,900 millimeters. The average duration of sunshine is around 1,600 hours a year.

Flora and vegetation

Natural disasters

The Rhine flood of 1927 cost two lives

Floods in Liechtenstein have always been threatened primarily by the Rhine . The earliest flood of the Rhine is recorded in 1343. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, 48 ​​floods can be detected on the Alpine Rhine. The overexploitation of the Graubünden forests in the 18th and 19th centuries led to more sediment deposits and a gradual increase in the river bed due to increased ridge formation and landslides. As a solution, Switzerland and Liechtenstein signed a treaty in 1837 that laid the foundation for today's Rhine protection structures. The numerous floods of the 19th century brought the impoverished country to the brink of ruin. For the last time so far, the Rhine flooded the valley north of Schaan in September 1927 .

Despite the threat of destruction from Rüfen , settlements were built in the area of ​​the rubble cone because the Rhine plain was swampy and exposed to regular flooding. Damage caused by rüfen is often passed down, e.g. B. 1666 and 1817 in Vaduz . After the difficult reefs in the summer of 1854, the first barriers were built. Despite the large investments in the Rüfe barriers, a risk remains, as shown by a devastating event in Triesenberg and Triesen in 1995 .

The foehn sparked village and forest fires in the Oberland . Avalanches destroyed nine huts in Malbun in 1951 and 15 holiday homes in 1999. The number of danger spots has been reduced considerably since the 1970s through building structures and afforestation.


On June 30, 2019, Liechtenstein had a total of 38,557 inhabitants. In 2019, around two thirds of the population were born in Liechtenstein (66.1%). Almost 60% of the foreign resident population came from the rest of the German-speaking area (28.1% from Switzerland, 17.2% from Austria and 12.7% from Germany), followed by 9.2% from Italy and 5.5% Portugal . 4.4% of the foreigners in Liechtenstein came from Turkey and 23% came from other countries. Overall, Liechtenstein's permanent resident population includes people from around 90 nationalities. In 2019, the population grew by 0.9% (an increase of 356 people). The average population density is around 238 people per square kilometer.

The last child was born in the Liechtenstein State Hospital in spring 2014. Since April 2014, expectant mothers from Liechtenstein have had to go abroad for hospital births because the country's only maternity ward was closed.

Population development

There are no reliable figures for the population in the area of ​​today's Liechtenstein for the time of the Middle Ages. An initial estimate was not made until 1584, according to which around 2,500 people lived in the County of Vaduz and around 1,300 in the County of Schenkenberg - a total of around 3,800 inhabitants.

No figures are available for the period of the Thirty Years' War, but it can be assumed that the population - as in the rest of Central Europe - stagnated or declined. After that it rose sharply between approx. 1730 and 1760 until it stagnated again due to a series of epidemics and food crises; also during the Napoleonic Wars of Liberation, where there was even a slight decrease in population after Austrian troops brought epidemics in 1796. After that, the population grew again until 1840, and then stagnated again. However, the population growth at the beginning of the 19th century was so high that fears of general impoverishment arose, to which politically restrictive measures such as restricting marriage, for example, whose success is unknown.

Only at the beginning of the 20th century began slow growth again - interrupted by the exodus of foreign workers during the First World War. After the Second World War, the population increased rapidly as a result of the economic upswing - mainly due to the influx of foreign workers.

year population annual growth rate
1584 approx. 3'800
1815 6,117 0.21%
1901 7,531 0.24%
1950 13,758 1.24%
1960 16'495 1.83%
1970 21,265 2.57%
1980 25,866 1.98%
1990 28,747 1.06%
2000 33'286 1.48%
2010 36,003 0.79%
2018 38'155 0.73%

Source: HLFL until 1901 , UN from 1950


American emigrants from Moors meet at the Eiffel Tower in Paris with seasonal workers from Moors who are in France

Up until the First World War, Liechtenstein was a country of emigration due to the poor supply situation and poverty. From early on, it was common practice to do military service for foreign countries , marrying abroad or entering monasteries abroad. From the 18th century onwards, seasonal work abroad also gained in importance, which only stopped with the economic upturn after the Second World War. In order to limit emigration, emigration restrictions were issued in 1805, which were completely repealed in 1848. As a destination, North America was probably just as important as the neighboring countries Austria and Switzerland, to which migration was particularly favored by agreements on the free movement of persons (Switzerland) and customs agreements (Austria).

With industrialization, the migration movements changed and foreign workers and skilled workers came to the country. While the proportion of foreigners in the population at the beginning of industrialization in 1941 was still 16.2%, it rose to 53.9% by 1970. In order to slow down this trend, Liechtenstein has been pursuing a very restrictive immigration policy since 1945, which is opposed to international trade agreements. The Principality has committed itself to an annual minimum quota of immigrants to both the EEA countries and Switzerland.

In 2018, 649 people immigrated to Liechtenstein, 26.3% of whom were Liechtenstein citizens, 484 people emigrated, 49.0% of whom were Liechtenstein citizens.

Birth and death rates

In the early modern period, the death rate was several times higher than the birth rate during periods of stagnation. While the birth rate rose sharply at the end of the 18th century, the death rate declined since the beginning of the 19th century due to hygienic and medical improvements as well as those in the food supply in the long term. Epidemics - as they always recurred with a certain regularity throughout history - were now on the one hand rarer and above all no longer meant the death of a sick person with such a high probability. This can also be seen in life expectancy, which rose from 29 in the 1830s to 39 in the early 20th century, 62 in the early 1960s, and 76 in 2003.

With advancing industrialization, the number of children per family decreased, as they were no longer needed to work on the farm, but rather represented a financial burden. This trend was briefly interrupted by the baby boom of the 1940s and 50s, but in the 1960s the birth rate fell rapidly to today's level with the pill break . Various social factors (such as an increase in single-person households, the possibility of divorces or a pronounced consumerism) kept the birth rate low afterwards.


According to Article 6 of the Constitution, German is the official language in Liechtenstein . Liechtenstein is the only state with German as the sole recognized official and national language ; In the other states of the German-speaking area, languages ​​other than official or minority languages ​​are also recognized.

The written and media language is usually Swiss High German . In Liechtenstein, like Switzerland , a double s is written instead of the ß .

The Liechtenstein population speaks various Liechtenstein dialects , the vast majority of which belong to a Middle Alemannic - High Alemannic transitional dialect, as it is spoken across borders in the Rhine Valley in the neighboring canton of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and in neighboring Vorarlberg (Austria). The local dialects differ significantly from one community to another.

However, the High Alemannic - Walser German dialect of Triesenberg stands out clearly from the High Alemannic dialects of the old local population. Its bearers came to the country around 1300 AD as part of the Walser migration from the Swiss canton of Valais . In the course of the Middle Ages, this population had given up the old Rhaeto-Romanic national language in favor of Alemannic.

Religion and church

According to Art. 37 II of the state constitution, the Roman Catholic Church is a regional church and as such enjoys full protection by the state. The separation of church and state is, however, strived for today. Since December 20, 2012, every Liechtenstein citizen over the age of 14 has been able to freely choose his or her religious belief without the consent of a legal guardian .

According to the results of the census from 2015, 73.4% of Liechtenstein citizens were Roman Catholic , 8.2% Protestant , and around 5.9% belonged to an Islamic religious community . 2.3% were members of another Christian denomination or non-Christian religion, 7% described themselves as non-denominational , and a further 3.3% of the population gave no information about their religious affiliation.

For a given by the Liechtenstein government-commissioned representative survey on religious affiliation in 2008 still 78% of domestic and foreign residents gave their religion with Roman Catholic , while 11% were Protestant , 3% belonged to the Islamic religious community , and 6% did not provide any information. The proportion of the population without a denomination in Liechtenstein was 2.8%. The number of Jews in Liechtenstein amounts to around three dozen people.

Until 1997, Liechtenstein belonged to the diocese of Chur . On December 2, 1997, the Archdiocese of Vaduz was finally established by Pope John Paul II and separated from the Diocese of Chur. Wolfgang Haas has been archbishop since the archbishopric of Vaduz was established , and the parish church of St. Florin in Vaduz was elevated to the status of a cathedral church .

There are two Protestant churches in the Principality that are organized as an association : the Evangelical Church in the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Principality of Liechtenstein as well as one Christian Orthodox .



The castle hill of Gutenberg Castle has been inhabited for thousands of years

Archaeological finds have shown that today's territory of Liechtenstein has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age (5th millennium BC). While the free-flowing Rhine made it difficult to settle in the valley, the first settlements were formed at the elevations of the valley, for example on the Gutenberg Castle Hill in Balzers or on the Eschnerberg . In the year 15 BC The Romans under Augustus conquered the territory of the Raetians and established the Roman province of Raetia . In the 1st century AD, the military road Milan-Bregenz was built, which ran over the Luzisteig along the right bank of the Rhine, and so manors and forts were also built in the area of ​​today's Liechtenstein (e.g. in Schaan ). The settlement or street station Magia registered on the Tabula Peutingeriana was possibly in Balzers or Mäls in the south of Liechtenstein.

With the collapse of the Roman Empire , the Alemanni began to immigrate and finally Raetia was incorporated into the Franconian Empire in the 8th century and into the Alemannic Duchy in the 10th century. At that time the area of ​​today's Liechtenstein was ruled by the Counts of Bregenz . Emperor Friedrich I awarded the area to the Lords of Schellenberg in 1180. In 1317 they sold their property to the Counts of Werdenberg. On May 3, 1342, what was then the territory of the Counts of Werdenberg-Sargans was divided between the sons of Rudolf II, so that the County of Vaduz was created. On July 22, 1396, the German King Wenzel declared the Werdenbergs' holdings to be immediate areas of the German Empire. Schellenberg and Vaduz became imperial immediately. In the decades and centuries that followed, the counties were repeatedly the scene of wars and looting. B. in the Old Zurich War (1444–1446) or in the Swabian War (1499–1500). The Swabian counts of Sulz acquired the counties of Vaduz and Schellenberg through marriage in 1507. Count Karl Ludwig von Sulz sells these to Count Kaspar von Hohenems in 1613 for 200,000 guilders.

Witch trials

In the county of Vaduz and in the rule of Schellenberg, witch hunts took place at the end of the 16th and in the middle of the 17th century. The peak was in the years from 1648 to 1651, when around 100 people were executed. Then there were witch trials again, as a result of which at least nine people were burned as witches and sorcerers. Further trials took place in the 1660s and 1675/76. More informative sources are available for the last phase of the witch hunt around 1679/80. The Vaduz witch trials came to an end in 1681 when the emperor forbade Count Ferdinand Karl von Hohenems to continue the inquisitions and the trials. In 1684 the emperor withdrew the count's criminal jurisdiction because he had enriched himself with the property of the convicted. Ferdinand Karl von Hohenems was arrested, accused, convicted and exiled to Kaufbeuren in Swabia.

Origin of the principality and independence

Over time, the rulers of Hohenems became increasingly indebted , especially under the rule of Ferdinand Karl von Hohenems . Ultimately, they were forced to sell the County of Vaduz and the Schellenberg estate . In 1699 Prince Hans Adam von Liechtenstein acquired the rule of Schellenberg and in 1712 the County of Vaduz from Jakob Hannibal III. von Hohenems , the brother of Ferdinand Karl. The wealthy and influential princes of Liechtenstein had long wanted to acquire imperial territory - this was a prerequisite for being elevated to the rank of imperial prince . On January 23, 1719, a diploma from Emperor Charles VI. the county of Vaduz and the rule of Schellenberg and elevated them to an imperial principality with the name of Liechtenstein. Since the new country only consisted of small farming villages, the administration was initially installed in the nearest town, Feldkirch , where the prince had the Liechtenstein Palace built for this purpose .

During the coalition wars, Liechtenstein was repeatedly occupied by foreign troops, so that the population became increasingly impoverished. In the First Coalition War (1792–1797) French troops marched into the principality, and after fighting between Austria (with the support of Russia) and France, Liechtenstein was occupied by Napoleonic troops in the Second Coalition War (1799–1802). In 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Rhine Confederation and accepted the Principality of Liechtenstein as one of the 16 founding members without asking the prince, so that Liechtenstein became independent under Prince Johann I. A few days later, Emperor Franz II (now Franz I in Austria) declared the Holy Roman Empire to be extinct, which linked the independence of all previous territories. At the Congress of Vienna in 1814/1815, Liechtenstein's independence was confirmed and the country was admitted to the German Confederation .

Liechtenstein in the German Confederation

In the Bundestag , Liechtenstein voted in the 16th Curia because it was too small to have its own Bundestag vote (like many other German states). His troops were part of the 11th Battalion of the Reserve Division in the armed forces .

Liechtenstein developed slowly over the years and decades and remained behind for a long time. A revolution in 1848 brought no change in the short term. It was not until the customs treaty concluded with the Austrian Empire in 1852 that economic conditions could take off, and the constitutional constitution of 1862 brought about political change, so that the prince could no longer rule without restrictions.

In the federal decision of June 14, 1866 (against Prussia), the Liechtenstein representative voted in the interests of Austria. In the subsequent German War, the troops of the Principality of Austria supported Italy, but did not come into contact with the enemy. Since the German Confederation was dissolved after the war and Prussia was only allowed to found its federal state north of the Main, Liechtenstein has since been without a membership in a defense alliance. The close ties to Austria remained, however.

First World War and post-war period

In World War I, Liechtenstein remained neutral and would in case of attack can not defend themselves because the army had been disbanded in 1868 for financial reasons. However, this had the advantage that there were no war-related losses of workers. The textile industry built up in the last few decades could have gained in importance; but the Allies banned the supply of yarn via Switzerland, so that the textile industry came to a complete standstill. Associated with this was the impoverishment of the Liechtenstein population. After the end of the war, Liechtenstein finally dissolved the customs treaty with Austria, the loser of the war .

The Austrian crown was Liechtenstein's currency until the fall of the Habsburg monarchy . It was not until 1924 that the Swiss franc was introduced as the official currency. In the meantime, Liechtenstein brought emergency money into circulation, but it lost a lot of its value and could not survive next to the Swiss franc, which is preferred by the population. As early as 1920, on March 8th, when the borders were closed, a secretly prepared count of the crowns and crown balances in the country was carried out in order to determine the modalities of an exchange.

Customs treaty with Switzerland

After the dissolution of the Customs and Tax Association with Austria, which was unanimously resolved by the Liechtenstein Parliament on August 2, 1919 and implemented in autumn 1919, Liechtenstein increasingly moved closer to Switzerland , and finally in 1923 the customs treaty that still exists today (officially : " Treaty between Switzerland and Liechtenstein on the connection of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the Swiss customs territory ") signed with Switzerland. The principality has been part of the Swiss customs area since 1923 and the national currency has been the Swiss franc since 1924 . However, Liechtenstein only concluded an official currency treaty with Switzerland on June 19, 1980. The Customs Treaty continues to guarantee the full sovereign sovereign rights of His Highness the Prince of Liechtenstein . Due to the treaty there is still a close partnership between the two states. The border between Austria and Liechtenstein is monitored by the Swiss Border Guard .

From 1938 until the end of World War II

After Austria was " annexed " to the German Reich in March 1938 , the newly ruling Prince Franz Josef II decided to be the first Prince of Liechtenstein - due to his rejection of National Socialism  - to move from eastern Austria or southern Moravia to Liechtenstein at Vaduz Castle , relocate.

Liechtenstein remained in the Second World War  - as in the First World War  - and was never involved in direct hostilities. Instead, the principality was able to use its locational advantages, which included: no absence of army members, central location, customs union with neutral Switzerland, tax advantages and political stability. Many new industrial companies were founded in Liechtenstein and strong economic growth set in.

Recent developments

Prime Minister Adrian Hasler (right) receives the government mandate from Prince Regent Alois von Liechtenstein for the years 2017–2021 in 2017

Since the end of the Second World War, Liechtenstein has slowly but steadily developed into an important business location with great political stability. The right to vote for women was only introduced in 1984, however, and membership of the United Nations (UN) took place in 1990. Participation in the European Economic Area (EEA) , which was held in a referendum in 1992 with a clear majority, was important for the development of the economy was approved.

EEA membership brought the four freedoms ( people , goods , services and capital ) between the European Union and Liechtenstein as well as the other EEA members Norway and Iceland . On August 15, 2004, Prince Hans-Adam II appointed his son and Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein as his deputy and entrusted him with the exercise of the sovereign rights due to the Prince. However, the title of prince will only pass to his son after the death of Hans-Adam.

In 2008 there was a tax affair with Germany in which numerous German tax evaders were exposed. As a result, Liechtenstein committed itself to a consistent white money strategy. Liechtenstein stepped up its regulatory measures in the financial center and signed a large number of bilateral agreements on double taxation and / or the exchange of information in tax matters.


Political system

According to its constitution, Liechtenstein defines itself as a “constitutional hereditary monarchy on a democratic-parliamentary basis”. The democratic-parliamentary basis results from the legislature that can be elected and voted out by the people and the direct democratic possibilities of the people to directly involve themselves in everyday political life. In cases of doubt, however, the constitution gives the monarch the final say.

According to Art. 2 of the Constitution, state power is “anchored in the prince and the people and is exercised by both in accordance with the provisions of this constitution”. In contrast to other European monarchs, the prince not only has representative tasks, but also has extensive powers: as head of state, he can dissolve, close and adjourn the state parliament, the popular election of members of parliament is incumbent on the prince, the state government is established on the proposal of the state parliament from Princes, and he can revoke laws passed by parliament and the people on the basis of his sanctioning rights. The current head of state of Liechtenstein has been Prince Hans Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein since 1989 . Since August 2004, the management of state affairs has been incumbent on the Hereditary Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein .

legislative branch

The state parliament building opened in Vaduz in 2008
State election 2017
A total of 25 seats
  • FL : 3
  • VU : 8
  • FBP : 8
  • YOU : 5
  • Independent: 1

The legislative power rests with the country's rulers and the Landtag of Liechtenstein . The state parliament consists of 25 members who are elected by the people for four years according to proportional representation. The people vote in two constituencies, with 10 in the Unterland and 15 in the Oberland. Legislation is defined by the 65th article of the Constitution. According to this, no laws may be passed or changed without the involvement of the state parliament.

After a law has been passed by the state parliament, it must be sanctioned by the prince, countersigned by the head of government and announced in the state law gazette before it finally comes into force. If a law is not sanctioned by the sovereign within six months, it is deemed to have been refused.

In the political landscape of Liechtenstein, two Christian-oriented people's parties play the main role, namely the Progressive Citizens' Party (FBP) and the Fatherland Union (VU). They are part of a coalition and provide the government. The Progressive Citizens' Party is more strongly represented in the Unterland and is considered loyal to the princes, economically liberal and traditional, while the Patriotic Union predominates in the Oberland and is more committed to socio-political issues. That being said, there are no major ideological differences between the two major parties.

In the state elections in 2017 , the FBP lost 4.8 percent of the vote, the VU gained 0.2 percent. Nevertheless, the FBP remained the party with the strongest vote with a total of 35.2 percent, followed by the VU with 33.7 percent. The electoral group Die Independent (DU), which first appeared in 2013 , was able to gain again, with 18.4 percent of the vote. The green alternative Free List (FL) also grew by 1.5 percent. On the basis of this result, the FBP received 9 members in the state parliament, the VU 8 members, DU 5 members and the FL 3 members. In 2018, the MP Johannes Kaiser resigned from the FBP parliamentary group and has been an independent MP since then. This reduced the number of seats in the FBP to eight.


The five-member government provides the executive . It consists of the head of government and four councilors. Since 2013, the government has been organized into five ministries ( Presidential Affairs and Finance , Foreign Affairs , Society , Interior and Infrastructure ). The business areas of economy, justice, education, environment, sport and culture are assigned to the individual ministries. Each member of the government is the head of a ministry and is called a minister. Adrian Hasler (FBP) has been head of government since March 30, 2017 . At the suggestion of the state parliament, the head of government and councilors are appointed by the sovereign. With the controversial constitutional amendment in 2003, the Reigning Prince was given the opportunity with the 80th constitutional article to dismiss the government or - in agreement with the state parliament - individual members of the government at any time and without giving reasons.

Daniel Risch (VU) sits in the government as deputy head of government. Other members of the government are Katrin Eggenberger (FBP), Dominique Hasler (VU) and Mauro Pedrazzini (FBP).

The Liechtenstein National Administration now includes since the administrative reorganization in 2013, 22 government offices and 12 staff positions and eight diplomatic missions abroad . The statehood of Liechtenstein leads to a large administration in relation to the number of inhabitants. The largest offices are the Office for Construction and Infrastructure, the State Police, the Office for Justice, the Office for Economics, the Tax Administration and the Education Office. The financial control and the data protection office are subordinate to Parliament, the Financial Market Authority (FMA) is a supervisory authority independent of the administration.


Official sign from 1905 for the Liechtenstein Regional Court

The judiciary under civil and criminal law has three instances in accordance with Article 1 of the Court Organization Act (GOG) : the Princely Regional Court , the Princely Higher Court and the Princely Supreme Court , all of which are based in Vaduz. The Princely Supreme Court and the Princely Supreme Court make decisions in the Senate , while the Princely Regional Court pursuant to Art. 2 GOG has single judges in civil and mostly criminal matters . In some cases, civil and criminal matters can only be passed on to the third instance to a limited extent.

The independent administrative judiciary is the Princely Administrative Court recognized that pursuant to Art. 78 para. 2 and 3 the National Administration Act decides Senate occupation of decisions of the administrative appeal authorities (government or Administrative Court).

The Liechtenstein Constitutional Court is also downstream of the ordinary courts , to which final decisions of the last instance can be challenged with the extraordinary appeal of an individual complaint in accordance with Art. 15 State Court Act.

Applications for judges are publicly advertised in the Principality of Liechtenstein. Suitable candidates are proposed to the Landtag for election by a committee made up of the Reigning Prince and representatives of the Reigning Prince and the Landtag, which in turn proposes the elected judges to the Reigning Prince for appointment (Art. 96 Liechtenstein Constitution).

Direct democracy

Party newspapers and advertising leaflets from the VU , FBP and Free List parties in the State Museum

There is a strong direct democratic element in the Liechtenstein system. At least 1000 citizens can convene the Landtag (Art. 48 (2) of the Liechtenstein Constitution), and at least 1500 can request a referendum on its dissolution (Art. 48 (3) of the Liechtenstein Constitution). 1000 citizens can also submit a request to the state parliament for enactment, amendment or repeal of a law. Every law is subject to a referendum, provided that the state parliament so decides or at least 1000 citizens or, by comparison, three municipalities so request (Art. 64 of the Liechtenstein constitution). For constitutional changes or international treaties, at least 1500 citizens or four municipalities are required. The constitution of March 2003 expanded the direct democratic rights of citizens in fundamental aspects.

In times of crisis, the prince can invoke an emergency law (Art. 10 of the Liechtenstein Constitution).

Women's voting rights and suffrage

On July 1, 1984, Liechtenstein was the last country in Europe to introduce women's voting rights . In 1971 and 1973 women’s right to vote was rejected in two referendums. An amendment to the constitution passed by the Landtag in 1976 enabled the municipalities to introduce women's right to vote at the municipal level. Reasons for the late introduction include the former rural structure of the country and the associated conservative image of women. Women are still severely underrepresented in the state parliament and in the local councils .

Foreign Policy and Diplomatic Relations

In the absence of political or military power, Liechtenstein has sought to maintain its statehood over the past 200 years through membership in legal communities. International cooperation and European integration are therefore constants of Liechtenstein foreign policy, which aim to safeguard the country's sovereignty, which is recognized under international law. Decisive for the domestic political legitimacy and sustainability of this foreign policy were and are strong direct-democratic decision-making mechanisms that are close to the people and are anchored in Liechtenstein in the 1921 constitution.

The border between Liechtenstein and Switzerland (without systematic border controls)

Important historical stages in Liechtenstein's integration and cooperation policy were accession to the Rhine Confederation in 1806, to the German Confederation in 1815, the conclusion of bilateral tariff and currency agreements with the Danube Monarchy in 1852 and finally the customs treaty with Switzerland in 1923, which included a number of other important ones bilateral treaties followed.

After the economic reconstruction of the post-war period, it joined the Statute of the International Court of Justice in 1950, in 1975 Liechtenstein and 34 other states signed the CSCE Final Act of Helsinki (now the OSCE), in 1978 Liechtenstein joined the Council of Europe , and on September 18, 1990, Liechtenstein became admitted to the United Nations (UN). In 1991, Liechtenstein joined the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as a full member, and since 1995 Liechtenstein has been a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2008, Liechtenstein joined the Schengen / Dublin Agreement together with Switzerland . From an economic and integration policy point of view, relations within the EEA and the EU have a special position in Liechtenstein foreign policy (see Liechtenstein and the European Union ). The Liechtenstein Hereditary Prince also takes part in the annual meetings of the heads of state of the German-speaking countries (consisting of EU and non-EU members).

In 2009, the Czech Republic was the last EU member to recognize Liechtenstein as a sovereign state. This was preceded by a decades-long diplomatic dispute between the two countries after the Beneš decrees had expropriated and nationalized all of the royal family's possessions in Czechoslovakia . The case had landed at the International Court of Justice , but Liechtenstein had lost it. In the course of 2009, the two countries normalized their relations, and Liechtenstein also gave Slovakia diplomatic recognition for the first time .

The consular mission of Liechtenstein has mostly been carried out by Switzerland since the customs treaty with Switzerland of 1923. Liechtenstein has direct diplomatic missions in Vienna , Bern , Berlin , Brussels , Strasbourg and Washington, DC, as well as permanent missions in New York and Geneva at the United Nations. Diplomatic missions from 78 countries are currently accredited in Liechtenstein, but mostly reside in Bern.

The embassy in Brussels coordinates contacts with the European Union , Belgium and the Holy See . Relations with Switzerland are particularly extensive in many areas because of the close cooperation; Switzerland fulfills tasks in some places that would be difficult for the Principality to manage itself due to its small size. Since 2000, Switzerland has appointed an ambassador to Liechtenstein, who, however, resides in Bern.

For a long time, diplomatic relations with Germany were maintained through a non-resident ambassador; i.e. through a contact person who was not permanently resident in Germany. However, Liechtenstein has had a permanent ambassador in Berlin since 2002, while the German embassy in Switzerland is also responsible for the principality. The Liechtenstein Ministry of Foreign Affairs sees the contacts, especially on an economic level, as extremely fruitful and important for the country's development. However, conflicts over the handling of bank and tax data have repeatedly strained relationships. On September 2, 2009, Liechtenstein and Germany signed an agreement on cooperation and the exchange of information in tax matters. The text of the agreement followed the OECD model convention and provides for an exchange of information on tax issues upon request from the 2010 tax year. In addition, Liechtenstein sees the Federal Republic of Germany as an important partner in safeguarding its interests in European integration. At the cultural level, project funding plays a particularly important role, for example the Hilti Foundation financed the exhibition “Egypt's Sunken Treasures” in Berlin, and the state donated 20,000 euros after the fire in the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar .

In principle, membership in the European Economic Area provided for full free movement of persons . However, because it was foreseeable that numerous EU citizens would take up residence in the tax-favorable principality, which was not desired either in their home countries (which feared tax losses) or in Liechtenstein (where rising real estate prices were feared), a special agreement was made according to which Liechtenstein per year Issued 88 new residence permits. 72 residence permits are issued to EEA citizens each year, 56 of them to employed persons and 16 to non-employed persons. Of the former, half are awarded by the government “according to the needs of the economy” according to unclear criteria, the other half and the permits for non-professionals at the urging of the EU in a lottery procedure. In any case, family members can join you. The requirements are more restrictive for Swiss citizens. There are only 17 residence permits for them each year. These permits are not raffled, but are given by the government. On February 28, 2008, the Principality signed its accession to the Schengen area , which took place on December 19, 2011.

Tax policy

Tax policy (national)

With the complete revision of the Tax Act in 2010 (applicable from January 1, 2011), the Liechtenstein Tax Act was brought into line with international and European tax standards, including the regulations on state aid . The old tax law of 1961, which partly still contained provisions from the tax law of 1923, was abolished together with the privileged taxation regimes for domiciliary and holding companies and replaced by a new, comprehensive taxation system. The new regulations are monitored by the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court of Justice as a counterpart to the European Commission and the European Court of Justice within the European Economic Area (EEA).

Furthermore, the EU group “Code of Conduct” (corporate taxation) examined the Liechtenstein tax system together with the EU Commission and came to the conclusion that:

  • Liechtenstein complies with the international standard regarding the exchange of information in the tax area;
  • Liechtenstein does not have any harmful tax practices or regimes and applies the regulations against the reduction of profits and profit shifting (BEPS) (previously missing anti-abuse provisions for dividends and capital gains as well as for equity interest deduction have been implemented and in force since July 13, 2018) ;
  • Liechtenstein does not promote any artificial tax structures.

Legal entities (such as stock corporations, limited liability companies, foundations and institutions ) are subject to general income tax of 12.5% ​​(which is comparable to the corporate income tax rate in other European countries).

Individuals are subject to both income tax and wealth tax . The wealth tax is calculated as a standardized target income of 4% of net wealth, which represents a fictitious acquisition. This fictitious acquisition (4% of net assets) is then added to the remaining acquisition (income from employment, etc.). The resulting tax base is subject to a progressive tax rate up to a maximum of 28% (including the municipal tax surcharge ).

Liechtenstein also has a VAT system which, due to the customs and currency union with Switzerland, corresponds to the Swiss VAT system. Since January 1, 2018, the rates of 7.7% standard rate, 2.5% reduced rate and 3.7% special rate for accommodation services apply.

Tax policy (international)

In 2016, Liechtenstein was one of the first non-OECD countries to join the Inclusive Framework of the OECD and thus complies with the international standards that have been developed in the area of ​​cross-border corporate taxation ( Base Erosion and Profit Shifting ; BEPS) both in its national and in international tax law. The tax law from 2010 was adapted accordingly (adaptations applicable from January 1, 2017). The adjustments included:

  • the introduction of the correspondence principle for dividends within corporate groups in order to avoid double non-taxation (see BEPS action point 2);
  • the abolition of the IP box (see BEPS action point 5);
  • the introduction of standardized transfer pricing documentation (see BEPS action point 13).

The OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) also stated that Liechtenstein has no harmful tax regimes. Liechtenstein was also one of the first states to sign the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI) and has also created the necessary legal basis for the exchange of information on request as well as the automatic and spontaneous exchange of information that meet international standards. In addition, Liechtenstein has ratified the Multilateral Administrative Assistance Convention (MAK), which has been applicable since January 1, 2017. The MAK serves as a legal basis for comprehensive administrative assistance in tax matters and enables information to be exchanged upon request. As part of the phase 2 peer review process of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes from October 2015, Liechtenstein received the rating “Largely Compliant”.

Based on the MAK, Liechtenstein also signed the Multilateral Agency Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts (MCAA-CRS) in October 2014, which creates a multilateral framework for the automatic exchange of information (AEOI). Liechtenstein's current AEOI network comprises 88 partner countries. As part of the AEOI agreement between Liechtenstein and the EU, which has been applicable since January 1, 2016, Liechtenstein was one of the first states to successfully carry out the first automatic exchange of tax-relevant information with the EU member states in September 2017. With the introduction of the AEOI in 2015, the provisions on Liechtenstein due diligence were also changed. The Liechtenstein AML / CFT set of rules is based on the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (2015/849), which fully takes into account the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Liechtenstein also signed the Multilateral Authority Agreement on the Exchange of Country-Specific Reports (MCAA-CbC) in January 2016. The peer review report on country-by-country reporting (CbC) shows no shortcomings. In addition, Liechtenstein has had the necessary national legal framework for the spontaneous exchange of information (SEI) since January 1, 2018. On the basis of this legal framework, which corresponds to international and European tax standards, Liechtenstein has so far concluded 18 double taxation agreements (DTAs), including a DTA with Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Hungary.

Social policy

The good Liechtenstein welfare state is modeled on that of Switzerland. There are various compulsory social insurances. The Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) , the pension fund and private provision are as in Switzerland together as columns Three system referred. Since joining the European Economic Area (EEA), AHV regulations have existed with all EEA countries.

→ See section Social Policy in Article Switzerland and Article Old Age and Survivors' Insurance (Liechtenstein)

National defense

Uniform of the Liechtenstein military contingent in the 1859-1868 National Museum . The uniform included a saber, a signal whistle made of ivory and the shako with a tuft of black horsehair.

On February 12, 1868, Prince Johann von Liechtenstein decided "with the current changes in the state organism of Germany" that "it was in the interests of my principality not to maintain a military contingent" and dissolved the Liechtenstein armed forces. The Principality since then has no own army more; however, universal conscription is still anchored in the constitution . The state police are responsible for internal security and the fight against crime . Some municipalities have their own municipal police .

During the Second World War , Switzerland wanted to include the territory of the Principality of Liechtenstein in its national defense , as the Liechtenstein topography offered favorable conditions for an attack on the Swiss national border in the Rhine Valley. Liechtenstein refused this, however, because it feared that this would put an undue strain on its relations with National Socialist Germany . Even after the war ended, Switzerland pushed for a solution to the problem. Finally, Liechtenstein ceded militarily important points to Switzerland in several stages - in return for financial and territorial compensation each time, most recently in 1949 with the Ellhorn .

To date, there is no treaty that would regulate Switzerland's duty or right to intervene in the event of an attack on Liechtenstein territory. On the other hand, based on the agreement of November 2, 2005 between the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Swiss Confederation on mutual assistance in the event of disasters or serious accidents, both civil and military units from Switzerland can provide assistance in Liechtenstein at the request of Liechtenstein.


The e-government strategy in Liechtenstein tries to meet challenges with the best possible efficiency. The three main goals here are:

  • a modern public administration that makes Liechtenstein an attractive business location
  • meet external requirements, especially those of the EU
  • Implementing the wishes and needs of customers

In 2010, a draft law on electronic business transactions was presented, which particularly promotes communication with authorities and electronic administrative action. This enables authorities to offer various services electronically, which simplifies the administrative procedure. An important point here is the creation of an «electronic identity card» (eIDA), which guarantees the unambiguous identification of the person by the authority.

The use of e-government simplifies processes and customers can easily access services regardless of the time or place. In addition, resources are used in a targeted manner, thereby reducing costs in the long term. Security is guaranteed by direct transmission to the responsible authorities, clear identification and controlled data access.

International awards

In 2013, Liechtenstein won the 2nd SolarSuperState Prize in the Solar category for the first time in recognition of the level of use of photovoltaics achieved in the state. The prize was justified by the SolarSuperState Association with the cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity of around 290 watts per inhabitant achieved on December 31, 2012, which meant second place worldwide behind Germany. In 2014, Liechtenstein was also awarded the 2nd SolarSuperState Prize in the Solar category. In 2015 and 2016, Liechtenstein was awarded the 1st SolarSuperState Prize in the Solar category because the country had the largest cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity per population worldwide.



The constitution defines Liechtenstein as a constitutional hereditary monarchy on a democratic and parliamentary basis . State authority is borne by the prince and the people . The constitution dates from 1921, for the first time guaranteed citizens extensive basic rights and, following the Swiss example, brought about a significant expansion of popular rights . The right to sanction enables the prince to influence legislation. In addition, he has the right of pardon and the right of abolition .
→ Main article: Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein

The European Convention on Human Rights came into force for Liechtenstein in 1982. The convention supplements the constitution's catalog of fundamental rights and has constitutional status.

civil right

Liechtenstein family law is based on the Austrian General Civil Code (ABGB), which was adopted in 1812 and 1846 . After the First World War, there was no planned re- codification based on the model of the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB). Family law and inheritance law are still based on the ABGB with certain changes. → Main article: General Civil Code (Liechtenstein)

The marriage law underwent significant change by the Marriage Act of 1974 which the compulsory civil marriage introduced and the divorce allowed. The equality of men and women realized with the marriage and family law reform of 1993 was mainly based on the model of Austrian law.

The property law (SR) taken from the Swiss Civil Code came into force in 1923 as the first part of the planned Liechtenstein Civil Code. It regulates ownership , possession and the land register .
→ Main article: Property law

The sections on company law in the PGR aim to strengthen the financial center of Vaduz. Centrum Bank in Vaduz

The personal and company law (PGR) of 1926 and 1928 was a result of Liechtenstein's reorientation from Austria to Switzerland after the First World War. It is based on Swiss law - the Civil Code and the Code of Obligations (OR). The sections on company law contain largely independent Liechtenstein law with the purpose of attracting foreign investors. These were decisive factors for the upswing in financial services in the second half of the 20th century.
→ Main article: Personal and company law

The General German Commercial Code (ADHGB) was adopted in 1865 while Liechtenstein was a member of the German Confederation . It is still in force with restrictions, but large parts have been replaced by the PGR.

Criminal law

The Liechtenstein Penal Code of 1989 is based on the fundamentally reformed Austrian Penal Code of 1975. The death penalty was abolished and homosexuality allowed. In deviation from Austrian law, the deadline solution for termination of pregnancy was rejected.
→ Main articles: Criminal Code (Liechtenstein) and Criminal Law (Liechtenstein)

The Liechtenstein Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO) and the Liechtenstein Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) are also based on Austrian law.

Administrative law

The widest part of the Liechtenstein legal system is the administrative law that the Administration Law , the Schulrecht , the construction law or the traffic law includes. Some of the areas dealt with therein have to be continuously adapted to the rapidly changing conditions. Liechtenstein administrative law has a hybrid form of Austrian, Swiss and independent Liechtenstein law.

Liechtenstein collection of laws

The entire database of Liechtenstein legal provisions is available online free of charge in the Liechtenstein Collection of Laws (LILEX).

Administrative division

Schweiz Österreich Schaan Ruggell Schellenberg Gamprin Gamprin Eschen (Liechtenstein) Eschen (Liechtenstein) Planken Planken Vaduz Vaduz Vaduz Vaduz Vaduz Schaan Schaan Schaan Schaan Triesenberg Triesenberg Balzers Balzers Balzers Triesen Mauren (Liechtenstein) Vaduz Vaduz Planken
Administrative structure: municipalities of Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is divided into eleven municipalities , which are divided between the two constituencies Unterland and Oberland. The political division of the country is historical; the Unterland goes back to the rule of Schellenberg , the Oberland to the County of Vaduz .

The municipalities Eschen , Gamprin , Mauren , Ruggell and Schellenberg belong to the Unterland ; The municipalities of Balzers , Planken , Schaan , Triesen , Triesenberg and Vaduz belong to the Oberland, which is much larger in area . The autonomy of the Liechtenstein municipalities is in the top range compared to the other states of Central Europe together with Switzerland. Despite their small size, the municipalities have complex shapes in terms of their territorial extent. In addition to a main part, seven municipalities also include one or more exclaves . The citizens' cooperatives, which occur in around half of Liechtenstein's municipalities, are owners of collectively used forests and pastures as well as of parceled areas that are left for private use.



Liechtenstein State Hospital in Vaduz

Due to its small size, Liechtenstein is dependent on cooperation with its neighbors in the medical field. Liechtenstein patients are also treated in hospitals in the Swiss neighborhood, particularly in the Grabs Hospital , which opened in 1907 . At the beginning of the 1920s, a hospital and an obstetrics ward were set up in the Vaduz citizens' home, which was moved into a new building in 1981. In 2000 the Vaduz hospital changed its name to Liechtenstein State Hospital . The Liechtenstein Red Cross (LRK), founded in 1945, has been providing the rescue service since 1971 .

The health system is largely financed by health and accident insurance as well as by the state. Since 1972 there has been compulsory health insurance for all residents of the country. Despite revisions to the Health Insurance Act, health care costs are constantly on the rise.

Road traffic

Road network

Development of the vehicle population

The Liechtenstein road network comprises 130 kilometers of country roads (including alpine and goods roads) and around 500 kilometers of municipal roads. Liechtenstein itself does not have any motorways, but the Swiss A13 runs along the left bank of the Rhine in close proximity to the Liechtenstein border. It opens up the Liechtenstein villages on the Rhine via five exits. The road networks in Switzerland and Liechtenstein are generally very closely linked.

Liechtenstein license plate

Generally (with a few exceptions) the same road traffic rules apply as in Switzerland. The Liechtenstein license plates (license plates) have a Swiss design in terms of their fonts and arrangement . Like the Swiss military license plates, the Liechtenstein shields have white characters on a black background.

Motorized private transport

The old Rhine bridge near Vaduz is only used for slow traffic today.

The number of motor vehicles has increased markedly in the last few decades. Inadequate spatial planning resulted in large building zones, which encouraged urban sprawl and individual traffic in Liechtenstein. The increasing number of commuters from Switzerland and Austria led to further growth in traffic. In 2001, 16,000 vehicles traveled the Nendeln - Bendern route every day and 16,400 passed Vaduz. The still growing traffic in Liechtenstein led to the demand to reduce motorized individual traffic.

Slow traffic

The Rhine valley level is well suited for bicycle traffic. In order to promote environmentally friendly means of transport, the government subsidized e-bikes from 2002 to 2010 and purchased company bicycles for the state administration in 2008 . Liechtenstein is involved in the SwitzerlandMobility project, a network for non-motorized traffic , especially for leisure and tourism. The cycle route No. 35 leads from Sargans through the principality to Feldkirch and along the Ill towards Altstätten .

Public bus transport

Natural gas bus in Vaduz

Public transport is very well developed in Liechtenstein and all eleven municipalities in the Principality can be easily reached. The most important means of public transport are the yellow-green ("lime") buses of the company Verkehrsbetrieb LIECHTENSTEINmobil (LIEmobil for short). 15 lines run through the Liechtenstein municipalities and also connect the SBB train stations in Sargans and Buchs as well as the Swiss municipality of Sevelen and the Austrian one City of Feldkirch with Liechtenstein. In addition, the bus route 70 of the Vorarlberg transport association runs between Schaan, Feldkirch and Klaus in the Vorarlberger Vorderland several times a day at times that are adapted to the shifts of large companies.

Rail transport

Schaan-Vaduz train station

The only railway line that runs through Liechtenstein is the Feldkirch (Austria) - Buchs (Switzerland) line, electrified at 15 kV 16.7 Hertz , which is owned and operated by the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). On the 9.5-kilometer route within the country, regional trains stop at the three stations of Forst-Hilti , Nendeln and Schaan-Vaduz . In addition, international trains from Vienna / Salzburg to Zurich run on this route (e.g. the railjet ) and do not stop on Liechtenstein territory.

With the S-Bahn FL.A.CH project , the regional transport offer on the Feldkirch – Buchs railway line was to be expanded by the end of 2015. An important goal is u. a. to get commuters from Austria to Liechtenstein to change to the train. There is a half-hourly service during rush hour. However, this in turn requires a dual track expansion in the Tisis - Nendeln area . During the negotiations, disagreements with Austria on financial issues arose. In March 2015 the government took note of the changed starting position for the financing of the S-Bahn FL.A.CH project. Due to the unanswered questions, the commitment loan with Liechtenstein's share of the project costs could not be dealt with as planned in the state parliament. In April 2020, Liechtenstein, Austria and ÖBB came to an agreement on the disputed financing key, but the people of the Principality refused to finance the project in a referendum on August 30, 2020.

The railway line was - as it is operated by ÖBB - in the international part of the Swiss course book on field 5320 until 2011 . The railway line was also included in the ÖBB timetable as long as it was published.


There are three chairlifts and a drag lift in Malbun .

Air traffic

There is no commercial airport in Liechtenstein itself, but there is a privately operated helicopter landing pad in Balzers . As in Austria and Switzerland, landing in Liechtenstein is only allowed on official landing sites. The nearest airport, 50 km north of Vaduz, is the St. Gallen-Altenrhein airfield in Thal SG in Switzerland. The Friedrichshafen airport is about 90 kilometers and the airport Zurich around 115 kilometers from Vaduz.

The Airbus 340-300 of Edelweiss Air (formerly Swiss ) with the registration HB-JMF was christened the Principality of Liechtenstein in 2008 .


The Principality is indeed post linked with Switzerland, but has a separate post ( Liechtensteinische Post AG ), own are stamps out and also has its own telephone area code (+423).

From 1852 to 1921, the Liechtenstein telecommunications system was handled by Austria as part of the “Customs and Tax Association” until the Principality itself took over. The Liechtenstein public telephone network was put into operation on November 15, 1898 and at that time comprised two connections for the government and 14 publicly operated telephones, which enabled telegrams and phonograms .

The first postal treaty between Austria and Liechtenstein (only) came into force on October 4, 1911, which, however, was terminated together with the customs treaty in 1919 and 1920 in the course of the foreign policy reorientation away from Austria and towards Switzerland.

On October 20, 1951, Liechtenstein was the first country in the world to put a fully automatic telephone network into operation. In 1978 mobile communications and in 1992 the Internet went into operation.

In 1963 the Principality joined the International Telecommunication Union and the Conference of European Postal and Telecommunications Administrations . In 1973 they joined intelsat and in 1987 Eutelsat .

In 1998, the state had the basic fixed network service and a telecommunications network set up by granting concessions to (partially) privatized companies and founding LTN Liechtenstein Telenet AG. In 2000, licenses in the mobile communications sector were granted to international companies.

In Liechtenstein there are (as of 2016) around 16,600 landline telephone connections, around 43,900 mobile phones and around 37,200 Internet users.

power supply

Liechtenstein's energy supply is largely dependent on foreign countries. The local power plants Lawena and Samina could only cover around 20% of the electricity demand in 2007. Due to the import of electricity, more than 50% of the electrical energy consumed in Liechtenstein in 2004 consisted of nuclear electricity. In 2006, petrol and diesel covered around a quarter and heating oil a fifth of total energy consumption. The deliveries of the Liechtenstein gas supply reached almost 30% of the total energy consumption in 2006.

Flood protection, drainage

Reconstruction of the Rhine dam after the dam broke in 1927

The Alpine Rhine was to the 19th century a winding river that regularly flooded the Rhine valley. At that time there were 23 estuaries on its right bank. Today the river is almost continuously provided with flood protection dams and banks that are protected against block throwing . The sole width along the Liechtenstein border is a constant 100 meters. The number of feeders on the right bank has been reduced to six bodies of water, including the Liechtenstein Inland Canal . The barriers led to an impoverishment of the landscape and a decrease in biodiversity . They could not prevent the Rhine flooding in Liechtenstein due to a dam burst in 1927 .

Due to the vineyard , Liechtenstein had a high proportion of naturally moist areas until the middle of the 20th century. The rise of the Rhine bed since the end of the 18th century led to additional waterlogging of the vineyard. In order to gain cultivated land, artificial drainage was used. For this purpose, the Liechtenstein inland canal was built, the ash was regulated and drainage was laid. The drainage, in combination with other factors, led to the subsidence of the peat soil and the extensive destruction of the natural vineyard.


The economy in Liechtenstein is mainly concentrated on the secondary ( industry ) and tertiary ( service ) economic sector with around 40% industry and 55% service share in economic output. In 2016, Liechtenstein's gross domestic product totaled 6,139 million Swiss francs. The GDP per employee for 2016 was CHF 192,681, calculated in full-time equivalents or CHF 165,454 per employee. At CHF 134,210, the gross national income per inhabitant is very high in an international comparison and, even after adjustment for purchasing power, is the highest of all EU / EFTA countries.

Due to the large proportion of commuters in the total number of people employed in Liechtenstein, the gross national income is better than the GDP for assessing the income situation of the population. In 2016, of the 37,453 people working in Liechtenstein, around 54 percent did not live in Liechtenstein, but commuted from abroad. Most of the foreign workers came from Switzerland (2016: 54.3 percent) and Austria (41.6 percent). Another 4.2 percent of foreign workers commuted from Germany and other countries. The average unemployment rate in 2017 was around 1.9 percent. The share of employment in industry and the goods-producing sector is still very high at 43%, followed by general services. Around 16 percent of Liechtenstein jobs are in the financial services sector, which contributed around 25 percent to Liechtenstein's gross value added in 2015.

Compared to the other economic sectors, tourism is only of minor importance. Nevertheless, Liechtenstein recorded over 80,000 guest arrivals and over 150,000 overnight stays in 2017. The most important holiday resort is Malbun , which attracts numerous guests both in winter and in summer.

Agriculture and Forestry

Agriculture in Liechtenstein

As of December 31, 2016, 245 people were employed in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector in Liechtenstein , which corresponds to 0.7 percent of all employed persons.

In 2016 there were 102 recognized agricultural holdings in Liechtenstein that cultivated 3,592 hectares of agricultural land, which corresponds to an average farm size of 32.2 hectares. 24 of the companies were active in the mountain zone . 37.3 percent of the farms with a total area of ​​1,366 hectares produced according to the guidelines of organic farming. Almost 60 percent of the agricultural area is cultivated as permanent grassland , the remaining areas as arable land and special crops . Most of the farms have specialized in animal husbandry, and in 2016, 5,812 head of cattle , including 2,227 dairy cows, 155 horses , 3,633 sheep , 196 goats , 1,789 pigs and approx. 12'262 farm chickens kept.

Liechtenstein has a forest area of 6,682 hectares with an average wood supply of 409 solid cubic meters per hectare. Around 29,000 solid cubic meters of wood are used in Liechtenstein's forests every year .

The hunting in Liechtenstein is in an area organized hunting system, composed of a land shelf with the state. A referendum that was successful at the ballot box in 1961, which wanted to bind the subjective hunting rights based on the example of Austria and Germany to real estate , ultimately failed because Prince Franz Josef II refused to grant the law the sanction.

Industry and commerce

Hilti AG production facility in Schaan

37.9 percent of the people employed in Liechtenstein in 2016 were employed in industry and commerce . Compared to the other Central European countries (especially Switzerland , Germany and Austria , each around 25 percent), this proportion is very high. The Liechtenstein industry is strongly export-oriented due to its small domestic market. In 2016, products worth around 3,355 million Swiss francs were exported all over the world. This does not even include the considerable exports to Switzerland, as no official statistical data on trade with Switzerland are collected due to the customs treaty.

Many companies are active in the mechanical engineering and food sectors and often have other locations abroad. Important industrial companies that come from Liechtenstein are Neutrik , Hilti AG , ThyssenKrupp Presta AG , Hoval AG , Hilcona AG , the Ospelt Group , Ivoclar Vivadent AG or OC Oerlikon Balzers . Milchhof AG processes almost all of the country's milk .


Of the people employed in Liechtenstein in 2016, 61.4 percent made their living by providing services. A large part of the workforce works in public administration, education, health care and the financial services sector.

In Liechtenstein, in contrast to most developed countries, there is still no “ tertiarization ” to be determined: Even if the employment share in the industrial sector and the goods-producing sector is tending to decrease, the average for 2016 was still a very high 43%, followed by general services 40%, financial services with 16% and agriculture with 1%. In absolute terms, employment in the industrial sector is still increasing (13,568 full-time equivalents on average in 2016). Employment dynamics in the financial services sector has slowed noticeably since 2009, in stark contrast to general services.

In 1937, a department store ban was introduced to protect local businesses after it became known that Migros was planning a branch in Vaduz. The ban missed the target because the Liechtensteiners went shopping in neighboring countries. As a result, it was repealed in 1969. Since then, the major Swiss retailers such as Coop and Migros have dominated the Liechtenstein market.

Banks and trusts

As part of the financial services sector, Liechtenstein banks are an important part of the Liechtenstein economy . You have specialized primarily in managing the assets of foreign private clients and institutional investors and are heavily dependent on fiduciary services in this regard. Liechtenstein's first bank, today's Liechtensteinische Landesbank (LLB), was established in 1861 to cover the savings and credit needs of the smallholder and artisan population. The LLB now has the character of a universal bank and can best be compared with a Swiss cantonal bank . LGT Bank in Liechtenstein, founded in 1920 and taken over by the Princely House of Liechtenstein in 1930, focused on looking after foreign assets from the start. The Verwaltungs- und Privat-Bank (VP Bank), established in 1956, is also closely linked to the fiduciary system.

Since the 1950s the banking center has grown and the number of jobs multiplied. A lack of bank clerks was recruited in Austria and especially in Switzerland. Land prices rose and the industrial sector suffered from the high wages imposed by the banks. Critics linked the Liechtenstein financial center with tax evasion and money laundering . The banking and financial sector is of great importance for government revenues and the economy. The 2007 financial crisis led to a decline in client assets under management from CHF 171 billion to CHF 121 billion.

The Liechtenstein trustees primarily manage foreign-owned holding and domiciliary companies, so-called letterbox companies . You work closely with the Liechtenstein and Swiss banks. The fiduciary system is an important branch of the Liechtenstein economy and an important employer.


Overnight stay (hotel and private rooms)

1911 June 1st to September 30th only

Average length of stay
Wikiolo in Liechtenstein (121) .jpg
Tourists in Vaduz
Guest beds
Miriam and Erich.JPG
Biker, in the background Pfälzerhütte

Although it led travelers through the Liechtenstein region early on, the heyday of tourism in the Principality did not begin until the middle of the 19th century after Liechtenstein was connected to the European rail network in 1872 and the subsequent construction of so-called (air) spa facilities .

In 1909, the Liechtenstein section of the German-Austrian Alpine Association was founded to support the emerging hiking tourism. After the global economic crisis , the Swiss replaced the Germans as the most important group of visitors.

As a result of increasing prosperity, the spread of statutory holiday entitlement and cars, as well as the improvement in general infrastructure, there was a strong increase in the number of guests after the Second World War. The change from summer to winter tourism began in the early 1960s with the construction of ski lifts and hotels in Malbuntal .

At that time there was mainly recreational, hiking and ski tourism and the region also benefited from day trips and business traffic. From the 1950s onwards, the average length of stay fell to less than two nights due to short trips and business tourism and has stagnated since then.

European round trips by mainly Asian travelers with buses have made frequent stops in Liechtenstein for some time. In spite of this, tourism was never a major factor in the national economy due to its limited cultural and scenic potential. In 2007, only 3% of employees were active in this sector.

The first tourist association for Liechtenstein, which at the same time covered Vorarlberg , was founded in 1900 and initiated tourism promotion in the Principality. In 1952, Liechtenstein joined the Northeastern Switzerland Transport Association and in 1964 the Swiss Transport Authority (later “ Switzerland Tourism ”). A first "Tourism Act" came into force in 1944 and aimed at promoting tourism and collecting taxes. In 2000, tourism funding was transferred to the public service institution “Liechtenstein Tourismus”.

In 2017 there was an increase in arrivals by 14.7% and in overnight stays by 16.3% compared to the previous year.

As part of the “300 Years of the Principality of Liechtenstein” anniversary, the 75 km Liechtenstein-Weg hiking route was reopened in May 2019 .

State budget

In 2017, the state budget of the Principality of Liechtenstein comprised operating expenses of 789 million Swiss francs, which were offset by income of 800 million Swiss francs. Including the financial result of 160 million Swiss francs, the state budget closed with a surplus of 170 million Swiss francs. Including the budgets of municipalities and social security, there was a surplus of 196 million Swiss francs for the state sector in 2016. That corresponds to 3.2% of the gross domestic product. In the state's balance sheet at the end of 2016, net worth was around CHF 7.1 billion, the gross debt ratio was just 0.4%. Due to the good economic and financial data and the forward-looking implementation of international standards, Liechtenstein is one of the few countries that has repeatedly received the AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s .


The close coexistence of village traditions and an intensive international exchange form the basis for Liechtenstein's cultural life.


Much related to the traditions of Liechtenstein, integrated into the cultural landscape of Central Europe, can be found in the neighbors. The tradition of carol singers is documented in 1667 and has stuck to Dreikönig up to the present day. The prelude to the actual Carnival begins on Dirty Thursday , but the masked balls take place soon after Dreikönig. Children blacken their faces ("Ruassla"), Guggenmusiken accompany carnival parades , carnival newspapers appear. On Sunday after Ash Wednesday is Funkensonntag celebrated.

At Easter, colored and decorated Easter eggs and Easter bunnies are the main decorations. The national holiday on August 15th is celebrated with large fireworks, bonfires and a torchlight procession on the Fürstensteig . At the end of the alpine summer, the herdsmen bring the cows decorated with flowers back to the villages. In the Oberland , the most productive of them are adorned with a wooden heart on their foreheads. On November 11th, the beginning of the carnival will be celebrated with performances by the Guggenmusik. Some of the clubs organize festivals with dancing and entertainment every year. Plays are often performed in the local dialect .

Kitchen and viticulture

Ribel with applesauce

Typical Liechtenstein dishes include Käsknöpfle with apple sauce and Ribel with milk, milk coffee, sugar or sour cheese , a specialty from Liechtenstein and the neighborhood. The Ribel is made from Rheintaler Ribelmais , a traditional local maize variety. Kratzete or Tatsch is made from dough heated in a frying pan and is eaten with compote or applesauce.

The north-south facing Rhine Valley has a mild climate due to the foehn influence , which enables the cultivation of good quality wines. More than 100 part-time winemakers produce around 1000 hectoliters of wine annually on 25 hectares of vineyards. The royal family has owned most of the vineyards since time immemorial. The preferred cultivation varieties include Pinot Noir and Müller-Thurgau .

Holidays and celebrations

Festival area for the 300th anniversary of the Principality of Liechtenstein 2019 in Ruggell

In the predominantly Catholic country, all public holidays are religious holidays - with the exception of May 1st, which was declared a national holiday in 1970 as Labor Day . On August 15, the State Day of the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Feast of the Assumption of Mary are celebrated at the same time . Former Prince Franz Josef II (1906–1989) had his birthday on August 16. The two festivals were first merged in 1940 and have been celebrated as a national holiday ever since. The day was retained even after the prince's death and officially designated as a national holiday, although the vernacular still speaks of the so-called prince's festival. The state ceremony has been taking place on the Schlosswiese next to Vaduz Castle since 1990 .

Important for the Liechtenstein national consciousness have passed since the end of the 19th century patriotic memorial and commemorative celebrations such. B. in 2019 300 years of the Principality of Liechtenstein. The prince's accession to government, government anniversaries and special birthdays also provided occasion for celebrations.

Cultural and architectural monuments

Parliament building in Vaduz - a building of postmodern architecture

The oldest buildings in Liechtenstein are the remains of the Roman villas in Nendeln and Schaanwald and the Roman fort in Schaan . The high and late Middle Ages produced several castles, including Vaduz Castle . The Romanesque and Gothic churches were replaced by new buildings from Classicism and Historicism in the 19th and early 20th centuries . In addition to individual representative administrative buildings such as the Verweserhaus in Schaan or the baroque Gamanderhof in Schaan, farmhouses in the Rhine Valley shaped the settlement image until around 1850. The Maria zum Solst chapel on Dux in Schaan has been completely preserved in the baroque style. This modest architectural heritage corresponds to the economic requirements of a formerly poor country without cities.

The clarity of classicism and thus also the economy of the construction met the tight financial possibilities of the communities. The parish church of St. Gallus was built in Triesen and the parish church of St. Peter and Paul in Mauren . The parish churches in Vaduz , Schaan , Eschen , Ruggell and Balzers as well as the government building in Vaduz were built in the style of historicism from the middle of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century . Modern buildings are the Engländerbau and the Mühleholz school center in Vaduz as well as the Schellenberg parish church , all of which are under monument protection. For postmodern architecture include the Centrum Bank and the parliament building both in Vaduz.

Theater, music, literature

Theater am Kirchplatz, Schaan

Theater and music are primarily supported by various associations . The most important representatives of these are the Balzers Operettenbühne , the Vaduz Operettenbühne , the Liechtenstein Musical Company and the Vaduz Opera Association . As a rule, all four of the above-mentioned clubs put on a new production every two years. The Big Band Liechtenstein has existed since 1983 .

With Josef Rheinberger one of the most important composers came the romance of Liechtenstein. Other composers are included in the list of Liechtenstein composers .

The Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein is the state museum for international modern and contemporary art in Vaduz

The Theater am Kirchplatz (TaK) in Schaan is the most important theater in Liechtenstein. Since October 2003 there has also been the Schlösslekeller theater in Vaduz , where the “Liechtenstein Gabarett” (LiGa) puts on a new program every year.

The PEN Club Liechtenstein , founded in 1978, brings together international personalities in what is probably the most famous international authors' association in the world. The club awards prizes and grants and organizes readings.


The Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein is the state museum for modern and contemporary art in Vaduz. The building designed by architects Meinrad Morger, Heinrich Degelo and Christian Kerez was completed in 2000. The museum's collection includes international modern and contemporary art from the 19th century to the present day. In addition, there are regular special exhibitions with works from the collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein .

The Liechtenstein National Museum , which was reopened in 2003 after extensive renovation and presents the history as well as the regional and natural history of Liechtenstein, is also of great importance .

Other museums include the «Postmuseum» and various local museums, including the Gasometer , a cultural center of the Triesen community .


School center Mühleholz II in Schaan

Liechtenstein is required to attend school for nine years. Compulsory schooling is divided into the areas of primary school (five years) and secondary school (at least four years), whereby a pre-school ( kindergarten ) can be attended on a voluntary basis beforehand. The curriculum is based on the German-speaking Swiss curriculum 21 . The secondary level itself is divided into three different levels, into which the students are divided according to their ability. The Oberschule and Realschule are completed after four years, while in the Gymnasium the Matura can be obtained after seven years .

Two thirds of Liechtenstein school leavers complete an apprenticeship . Because of the common economic area , the vocational training corresponds to the system in Switzerland, whereby the same job titles are used. Most young people living in Liechtenstein complete their apprenticeship in Switzerland, only 13% in Switzerland. In contrast, 26% of the apprenticeships in Liechtenstein are filled with apprentices residing in Switzerland and 1% with Austrians. Most of the apprentices in the neighboring canton of St. Gallen attend the vocational school . The voluntary vocational secondary school then enables you to study at a technical college .

Liechtenstein has two universities. The University of Liechtenstein is a state university with a focus on architecture and spatial development as well as economics. The private university in the Principality of Liechtenstein is nationally and internationally recognized and offers accredited, part-time doctoral courses in medical science and law. There is also the International Academy of Philosophy as another private university . The Liechtenstein Institute in Bendern is a scientific research institution with a public library. The state is also one of the sponsors of the Intercantonal University for Curative Education in Zurich .



The first edition of the Liechtensteiner Volksblatt appeared in 1878.

The most important newspapers are the Liechtensteiner Vaterland and the Liechtensteiner Volksblatt . The two daily newspapers have been close to a political group since the parties were founded in 1918. Today's Liechtenstein Fatherland is the unofficial party organ of the Fatherland Union (VU), the Liechtensteiner Volksblatt is close to the Progressive Citizens' Party (FBP). In an international comparison, the two daily newspapers achieve a high reach :

newspaper Edition Range Appear Large print run
Liechtenstein fatherland approx. 8600 copies approx. 80% Monday to Saturday Tuesday, 21,000 copies
Liechtensteiner Volksblatt approx. 6200 copies approx. 70% Thursday, 21,000 copies
In October 1938 went Liechtensteinische Landesbank stations on the air. A few weeks after the outbreak of war had the run with English capital medium-wave transmitter reinstate its operation.

The low diversity of the Liechtenstein media and the fact that the press is tied to political parties lead to a lack of independent reporting. The two daily newspapers have opened up somewhat since the 1990s and print letters to the editor and forum contributions largely unfiltered. Since the Media Funding Act came into force in 2000, the press has benefited from a government grant that aims to improve quality. In the 2019 press freedom ranking , published by Reporters Without Borders , Liechtenstein was ranked 26th out of 180 countries.

Several magazines are devoted to the culture, customs and history of Liechtenstein. EinTracht , the magazine published from 1991 to 2012, was devoted to cultivating local traditions and customs, the Balzner Neujahrsblätter have been reporting annually since 1995 on the history, culture, society, nature and economy of Balzers .


The local private broadcaster Radio L became the most popular radio station in Liechtenstein, but was barely able to establish itself in neighboring countries. As the successor to Radio L, which was struggling with financial problems, the state-financed Liechtenstein Broadcasting Corporation was founded, which has been operating the public Radio Liechtenstein since 2004 .

watch TV

Because of the very limited range of television channels in Liechtenstein, consumption is concentrated on foreign programs. The small Liechtenstein private broadcaster 1 FL TV has been broadcasting news about Liechtenstein and the neighboring regions since 2008. The state channel and, in most municipalities, the individual municipal channels with continuously running text also serve to inform the population . The state channel is looked after by the information and communication department of the Ministry of Presidency .


Liechtenstein has an Olympic Committee (LOC), a University Sports Association (LHSV), an Alpine Club (LAV) and also an Athletics Association (LLV).


The Rheinpark Stadium in Vaduz

The Liechtenstein football clubs take part in the games of the Swiss Football Association . The National Cup , however, lead the Liechtenstein under own direction, so that each year, a Liechtenstein team in qualifying for the Europa League to participate can. This honor mostly goes to the cup series winner FC Vaduz , who played in the highest Swiss league, the Super League , from 2014 to 2017 .

The greatest success so far in Liechtenstein club football was in 1996, when the amateurs of FC Vaduz, at that time still in the 1st division of the SFV (third highest league), met the Latvian opponent FC Universitāte Rīga (1: 1, 4: 2 penalties ) in the European Cup Cup winners defeated. However, they subsequently failed against the prominent opponent Paris Saint-Germain (0: 4, 0: 3).

The Liechtenstein national football team takes part in World Cup and European Championship qualifications. The greatest success was a 4-0 win against Luxembourg in the 2006 World Cup qualification ; Just four days earlier, Liechtenstein had scored a 2-2 draw against runner-up European champions Portugal . In addition, the Liechtenstein soccer players celebrated a 3-0 home win against Iceland on October 17, 2007 and a 2-0 home win against Lithuania on June 3, 2011 as part of qualifying for the European Championship in Poland / Ukraine .

The best-known player in the national team is Mario Frick (including FC Basel , Ternana Calcio , AC Siena , FC Balzers ), who was the first Liechtenstein player to make his debut in the Italian Serie A (August 26, 2001) and scored seven goals for Hellas Verona this season . In the meantime, Mario Frick works as a football coach.

FC Vaduz and the national team play their home games in the Rheinpark Stadium in Vaduz, the Principality's national stadium , which opened in 1998.


Winter sports

Malbun winter sports area

In winter, winter sports are practiced in the mountain region around Malbun . In Alpine skiing Liechtenstein has made some achievements. The highlight - apart from various World Cup victories - was when Hanni Wenzel from Liechtenstein won two gold medals and one silver at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid in the winter of 1980. In addition, she and her brother Andreas Wenzel each won the overall World Cup in 1980 - as the only sibling pair in the history of the Alpine Ski World Cup. There is also a bronze medal from the Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck . Andreas Wenzel won a silver Olympic medal in Lake Placid in 1980 and a bronze medal in Sarajevo in 1984 .

At the beginning of the 21st century, Marco Büchel achieved various successes. Tina Weirather (daughter of Hanni Wenzel and Harti Weirather ) is currently the most famous and successful skier in the country. According to the unofficial statistics “Olympic medals per inhabitant”, Liechtenstein is the most successful nation of all. Successful cross-country skiers were Markus Hasler and Stephan Kunz .

See also

Portal: Liechtenstein  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Liechtenstein


  • David Beattie: Liechtenstein. History and present. van Eck, Triesen 2005, ISBN 3-905501-68-6 (easy to read, particularly loyal history of Liechtenstein).
  • Arthur Brunhart: The Principality of Liechtenstein. Edited by the “Organizing Committee 200 Years of Sovereignty 1806–2006”, Liechtensteinisches Landesmuseum , Vaduz 2006, ISBN 3-9521735-8-4 (anthology with articles on politics, economy, society and culture).
  • Martina Sochin D'Elia: "You are dealing with people here!" Liechtenstein's interaction with strangers since 1945 , Chronos, Zurich / Historical Association for the Principality of Liechtenstein, Vaduz 2012, ISBN 978-3-0340-1142-6 (Chronos) / ISBN 978-3-906393-53-7 (HVFL) (dissertation University of Friborg 2011, 374 pages).
  • Cornelia Herrmann: The Art Monuments of the Principality of Liechtenstein, New Edition Volume II. The Oberland (= Art Monuments of Switzerland . Volume 112). Society for Swiss Art History , Bern 2007, ISBN 978-3-906131-85-6 .
  • Cornelia Herrmann: The art monuments of the Principality of Liechtenstein. New edition Volume I. The Unterland (= Art Monuments of Switzerland . Volume 122). Society for Swiss Art History, Bern 2013, ISBN 978-3-9523760-0-3 .
  • Christoph Maria Merki : Liechtenstein's economic miracle. The rapid modernization of a small economy in the 20th century. Historical Association for the Principality of Liechtenstein , Vaduz / Chronos, Zurich 2007, ISBN 978-3-0340-0883-9 (standard work on the development of the Liechtenstein economy and the financial center over the past hundred years).
  • Erwin Poeschel : The art monuments of the Principality of Liechtenstein. The Principality of Liechtenstein. (= Art Monuments of Switzerland. Volume 24). Society for Swiss Art History GSK, Bern 1950, DNB 750089148 .
  • Pierre Raton: Liechtenstein. State and history. Liechtenstein-Verlag, Vaduz 1969, DNB 575726083 .
  • Paul Vogt: Bridges to the Past. A text and work book on Liechtenstein history from the 17th to 19th centuries. Official teaching material publisher, Vaduz 1990, OCLC 40131479 .
  • Rainer Vollkommer (Ed.): Becoming a country 1712–2012. Exhibition catalog. Liechtenstein National Museum 2012.
  • Rainer Vollkommer (Ed.): 300 Years of the Principality of Liechtenstein 1719–2019. Liechtenstein National Museum, Vaduz 2019, ISBN 978-3-9524770-6-9 .
  • Arno Waschkuhn: Liechtenstein's Political System. Continuity and change (= Liechtenstein political writings . Volume 18). Liechtenstein Academic Society, Vaduz 1994, ISBN 3-7211-1020-X (overview of the political system).

Web links

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Wikimedia Atlas: Liechtenstein  - geographical and historical maps

Individual evidence

  1. There is no motto de jure, but the national motto “For God, Prince and Fatherland” is de facto regarded as such and This is used, for example, by the local press (see Liechtensteiner Vaterland ( Memento from September 15, 2019 in the Internet Archive )) or at celebrations for the national holiday .
  2. ^ Liechtenstein: In a nutshell. Portal of the Principality of Liechtenstein, accessed on April 1, 2016.
  3. a b c d e f g Statistical Yearbook of Liechtenstein 2016: Geography, Spatial Use . Statistics Office (AS), Principality of Liechtenstein, pp. 35–37, accessed on April 1, 2016 ( PDF ; 4,169 kB ).
  4. a b c d e f 2019 population statistics. Statistics Office (AS), Principality of Liechtenstein, accessed on December 25, 2019.
  5. a b Current population. accessed on December 25, 2019.
  6. a b c d National Accounts 2015. Statistical Office (AS), Principality of Liechtenstein, p. 7, accessed on January 25, 2018.
  7. Human Development Reports. United Nations Development Program ( UNDP ).
  8. Liechtenstein: Did you know that ... Portal of the Principality of Liechtenstein, accessed on April 1, 2016.
  9. Treaty between the Republic of Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein to determine the state border ... Treaty of March 17, 1960. Federal Chancellery, accessed on April 1, 2016 .
  10. Adulf Peter Goop , Günther Meier, Daniel Quaderer: Customs Liechtenstein. Old customs and new manners. Alpenland Verlag, Schaan 2005, ISBN 3-905437-09-0 , p. 254.
  11. ^ Liechtenstein: Geology and Mountains . Portal of the Principality of Liechtenstein, accessed on April 1, 2016.
  12. The western Rätikon is only included in the central Eastern Alps for orographic-systematic reasons , because it lies south of the Ill – Arlberg furrow.
  13. Office for Communication and Public Relations: Principality of Liechtenstein → Geology. (No longer available online.), archived from the original on May 21, 2012 ; Retrieved April 16, 2011 .
  14. a b c Geology and Mountains , accessed on May 4, 2019.
  15. ^ Franz Allemann: Geology of the Principality of Liechtenstein (south-western part) with special consideration of the flysch problem . Hitly, Schaan 1957, p. 11 .
  16. a b c d e f Gerhard Wanner: Geology. In: Historical Lexicon of the Principality of Liechtenstein .
  17. ^ Waters in Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein Fisheries Association, accessed on May 8, 2011.
  18. ^ Influence of the foehn winter 2009–2010. In: Swissinfo . December 24, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  19. ^ Liechtenstein: Eating and drinking . Portal of the Principality of Liechtenstein, accessed on April 1, 2016.
  20. Liechtenstein Statistical Yearbook 2016: Agriculture and Forestry . Statistics Office (AS), Principality of Liechtenstein, p. 211, accessed on April 1, 2016 ( PDF ; 4,169 kB ).
  21. Liechtenstein Statistical Yearbook 2016: Climate, Weather Events (Vaduz measuring station, 456  m above sea level ). Statistics Office (AS), Principality of Liechtenstein, p. 43, accessed on April 1, 2016 ( PDF ; 4,169 kB ).
  22. ^ Alfred Stefan Weiss: Floods. In: Historical Lexicon of the Principality of Liechtenstein . December 31, 2011 .
  23. Gertrud Haidvogl: landslide gullies. In: Historical Lexicon of the Principality of Liechtenstein . December 31, 2011 .
  24. ^ Georg Burgmeier: Föhn. In: Historical Lexicon of the Principality of Liechtenstein . December 31, 2011 .
  25. Jürg Zürcher: Avalanches. In: Historical Lexicon of the Principality of Liechtenstein . December 31, 2011 .
  26. ^ Liechtenstein: Population . Portal of the Principality of Liechtenstein, accessed on January 25, 2018.
  27. Country without babies . In: NZZ Folio . 11/2014.
  28. Closure of the maternity ward . In: Liechtenstein Fatherland . 01/2014.
  29. ^ A b c Paul Vogt: Population. In: Historical Lexicon of the Principality of Liechtenstein . December 31, 2011 , accessed June 9, 2019 .
  30. World Population Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved July 28, 2017 .
  31. Norbert Jansen: Emigration. In: Historical Lexicon of the Principality of Liechtenstein . December 31, 2011 .
  32. Veronika Marxer: Foreigners. In: Historical Lexicon of the Principality of Liechtenstein . December 31, 2011 , accessed June 9, 2019 .
  33. Migration statistics. In: Retrieved January 26, 2020 .
  34. ^ Friedrich Besl: Illness. In: Historical Lexicon of the Principality of Liechtenstein . December 31, 2011 , accessed June 9, 2019 .
  35. a b c d e f g h i Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein in the Legal Information System of the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein (LILEX).
  36. See also: Dialect Continuum .
  37. Adolescents aged 14 years of age. In: Liechtenstein Fatherland. December 20, 2012.
  38. 2015 census . Population structure. Volume 1. Statistical Office (AS), Principality of Liechtenstein, p. 12, accessed on January 25, 2018.
  39. ^ Wilfried Marxer: Religion, religiosity and religious tolerance in Liechtenstein. Empirical Findings from Survey Research. Liechtenstein Institute, Bendern 2008, pp. 10–12.
  40. Georg Malin: The territory of Liechtenstein under Roman rule. 1958, p. 22.
  41. ^ Roman times - Historical Lexicon. Retrieved April 18, 2020 .
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  43. ^ Manfred Tschaikner : Hohenems reign of terror in Vaduz and Schellenberg? Count Ferdinand Karl von Hohenems and the witch trials (1675–1685). In: Montfort. Vol. 64, Vol. 2 (2012), pp. 87-99.
  44. ^ Manfred Tschaikner: Liechtenstein - witch hunts. In: Gudrun Gersmann, Katrin Moeller, Jürgen-Michael Schmidt (Hrsg.): Lexicon for the history of witch hunt.
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  46. Herbert Haupt: Liechtenstein, Johann Adam I. Andreas von. In: Historical Lexicon of the Principality of Liechtenstein . December 31, 2011 , accessed July 13, 2019 .
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Coordinates: 47 ° 9 '  N , 9 ° 33'  E ; CH1903:  760 425  /  223720