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Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Vaduz is the capital of the principality of Liechtenstein and the seat of the national parliament. The town, located along the Rhine, has about 5,100 inhabitants, most of whom are Roman Catholic. Its cathedral is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop.

Vaduz has a lively tourist industry, despite being one of the very few capital cities in the world without an airport or railway station. The closest railway station is Schaan–Vaduz located around 2 km from the city centre in the town of Schaan. However, very few trains stop here except for a local service between Buchs in Switzerland and Feldkirch in Austria. There are extremely frequent bus connections between nearby mainline railway stations including Buchs, Sargans, and Feldkirch, operated by Liechtenstein Bus.

Within the space of just a few hundred metres, visitors to Vaduz will discover impressive modern and traditional architecture as well as fine works of art and fascinating museums. Liechtenstein’s capital is a treasure trove of culture – there really is no other place offering so many highlights in such a small space.

The town centre of Vaduz

The centre of Vaduz is referred to by locals as the “Städtle” (“small town”).

It is the heart of Liechtenstein’s capital and offers visitors the chance to shop, dine, relax and explore the cultural highlights on offer. The area between the government district and the town hall is pedestrianised and closed to cars.

The “Städtle” in the centre of Vaduz really does have everything, from modern art and historical collections to outdoor cafés, restaurants and boutiques.

Vaduz Cathedral, or Cathedral of St. Florin

Vaduz Cathedral, or Cathedral of St. Florin (St. Florinskirche in Vaduz or Kathedrale St. Florin), is a neo-Gothic church in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and the center of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vaduz. Originally a parish church, it has had the status of a cathedral since 1997.

It was built in 1873 by Friedrich von Schmidt on the site of earlier medieval foundations. Its patron saint is Florinus of Remüs (Florin), a 9th century saint of the Vinschgau Valley.

The Archdiocese of Vaduz was erected by Pope John Paul II in the apostolic constitution Ad satius consulendum 2 December 2002. Before then it had been the Liechtenstein Deanery, a part of the Swiss Diocese of Chur. The solemn public ceremony took place on 12 December 1997, in the parish church of Vaduz, which was then raised to the dignity of a cathedral.

Government District of Vaduz

The government district in Vaduz is centered around Peter-Kaiser-Platz square.

Peter-Kaiser-Platz square is home to the parliament building, the government offices and the state archives. The government building was constructed between 1903 and 1905 according to plans drawn by the Viennese architect Gustav Ritter von Neumannt.

The parliament building, fronted by an imposing square, was completed in 2008 and contains the plenary hall of the parliament, the secretariat, a range of offices for the different political parties represented in parliament as well as the state archives and its own library. The building was designed by the German architect Hansjörg Göritz. Built using over one million bricks, it is immediately recognisable as you enter Vaduz from the south. In 2010 it received the Brick Award.

Attractions in Vaduz

Treasure Chamber of the Principality of Liechtenstein

The Treasure Chamber of the Principality of Liechtenstein in Vaduz, the only museum of its kind in the Alps, focues primarily on exhibits belonging to the Princes of Liechtenstein and other private collectors.

The exhibition entitled “The Principality, the World and Outer Space” will show a selection of items from the Princely Collections, including works of art made using precious materials, historic weapons and opulent presents belonging to rulers such as Prince Friedrich II of Liechtenstein and Emperor Kaiser Joseph II of Austria.

Also on display will be a number of exhibits from the collection belonging to Liechtenstein collector Adulf Peter Goop, including a selection of what is one of the world’s finest Easter egg collections. Highlights include many precious Russian Easter eggs, including the world-famous Apple Blossom Egg by Fabergé as well as other Fabergé Easter eggs and goldsmith masterpieces. Visitors will also be able to see lunar rocks collected by the astronauts on board Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 and read about how they made their journey from the Moon to the Principality of Liechtenstein. And, of course, the exhibition would not be complete without the famous design by Koloman Moser for the first postage stamp issued by Liechtenstein.

Opening hours
Daily from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. with exception of 24th, 25th and 31st December as well as 1st January

Liechtenstein Museum of Fine Arts

The Liechtenstein Museum of Fine Arts is a state-run museum showcasing modern and contemporary works of art.

Designed by the architects Meinrad Morger, Heinrich Degelo and Christian Kerezblack, the eye-catching black cube in the centre of Vaduz houses the Liechtenstein Museum of Fine Arts.

The museum’s collection covers works from the 19th century up to the modern day and includes important pieces – in particular sculptures, objects and installations – created by well-known artists. Solo exhibitions are regularly organised, as well as special exhibitions showing pieces from the Collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein.

Close to the entrance is a spacious outdoor café – a top tip for coffee and great sushi.

“Painting and Sculpture – From Classical Modernism to the Modern Day” – Hilti Art Foundation opening exhibition

The exhibition “Painting and Sculpture – From Classical Modernism to the Modern Day” opened in the new Hilti Art Foundation building. Designed and created by Uwe Wieczorek, the curator of the Hilti Art Foundation, it brings together 50 paintings and sculptures belonging to the Hilti Art Foundation Collection. Among the works on display are important pieces by artists including Gauguin, Seurat, Lehmbruck, Boccioni, Picasso, Leger, Kirchner, Marc, Magritte, Klee, Beckmann, Hodler, Giacometti, Dubuffet, Wols, Albers, Fontana, Manzoni, Schoonhoven, Uecker, Fruhtrunk and Knoebel.

The exhibition is divided into three sections spread across three floors, with each floor dedicated to a specific topic and period. The basement will focus on “humans as individuals” and show primarily works from around 1910 to 1970 by including Wilhelm Lehmbruck and Willem de Kooning. This concept of human beings and their individual nature is one of the major concepts in the Hilti Foundation Art Collection as a whole.

On the first floor visitors will find a range of classical modernist paintings and sculptures dating from around 1880 until 1945 by artists including Georges Seurat and Wols. There will be a particular focus on the expressionism, cubism and surrealism movements.

Finally, the second floor of the building will be dedicated to the period from 1945 until the modern day. Artists showcased here include Josef Albers and Imi Knoebel. Representing the huge diversity of art produced since the Second World War, this exhibition will remain on display until 9 October 2016. More information about  the Hilti Art Foundation Collection

Opening times
Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m.
Thursday: 10.00 a.m. until 8.00 p.m.

The Prince of Liechtenstein Winery

Wine enthusiasts should definitely pay a visit to the Prince of Liechtenstein Winery, where visitors can walk through the vineyards and sample the excellent wines.

The Prince of Liechtenstein Winery in Vaduz is home to the Herawingert vineyards. With its four hectares of south-west-facing slopes and mild climate influenced by the warm ‘Föhn’ wind, Herawingert is among the best wine-growing regions in the Rhine Valley. Its excellent quality of soil offers ideal conditions for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Prince of Liechtenstein Winery also cultivates the Abtswingert vineyard below the Red House in the Oberdorf area of Vaduz.

Shop
Online shop of the Prince of Liechtenstein Winery in Vaduz

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday: 8.00 a.m. until 12.00 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. until 6.00 p.m.
Saturday: 9.00 a.m. until 1.00 p.m.

The government building in Vaduz

Completed in 1905, the government building in Vaduz is the official seat of the government of the Principality of Liechtenstein and is located at the southern entrance to the pedestrianised area of the capital.

The government building is part of the government district centered around the Peter-Kaiser-Platz square. Together with the house where composer Josef Gabriel Rheinberger was born, the St. Florin parish church built in 1873 and the newly constructed parliament building, it dominates the southern entrance to the historic centre of Vaduz, known as the ‘Städtle’.

The government building and the Administrator’s House (‘Verweserhaus’) underline the fact that since 1342 Vaduz has been the capital and – with several brief intermissions – official residence of the sovereigns who ruled over the former County of Vaduz. The building was designed by the Princely Architect Gustav Ritter von Neumann.

The Red House in Vaduz

The Red House, a gabled stairs structure with a large tower containing living quarters, is located in the Mitteldorf area of Vaduz.

The house gets its name from the dark-red colour the building has had since the middle of the 19th century. Documents show that work began on another construction on the same site several centuries earlier, before being abandoned in the 15th century. The Red House’s many owners over the years include the St. Johann Monastery.

Since 1807 the building has been in the possession of the Rheinberger family. Egon Rheinberger – a famous painter, sculptor and architect from Liechtenstein – extended the Red House between 1902 and 1905.

Old bridge over the Rhine in Vaduz

The “Alte Rheinbrücke” is a covered wooden bridge linking the municipalities of Vaduz and Sevelen.

Measuring 135 metres in length, it was completed in 1901 and is today the only remaining wooden bridge spanning the Rhine. Another wooden bridge was, in fact, erected at the same spot 30 years earlier. However, this required rebuilding due to damage caused by the bridge being raised on two separate occasions while work was being carried out redirecting the Rhine.

After the dam in Schaan broke in 1927, the bridge was raised once again. The bridge, which has a wooden roof, was renovated between 2009 and 2010. Motor vehicles are not permitted to use the bridge, making it particularly popular with cyclists.

Vaduz Castle

Vaduz Castle lies on a hillside 120 metres above Vaduz. It is the symbol of the capital and can be seen from far away.

It is thought that the castle was constructed as a fortress as early as the 12th century, before living quarters were added in 1287. Vaduz Castle is first mentioned in documents dating back to 1322.

The castle came into the ownership of the Princely Family in 1712 and the west wing served as the family’s official residence until 1732. However, after that the building became increasingly dilapidated and fell into disrepair before being rebuilt and renovated between 1905 and 1912.

Under Prince Franz Josef II the castle was extended and once again made fit for living. In 1939 the Prince moved in with his family and adopted Vaduz Castle as his official residence.

The parliament building in Vaduz

The parliament lies at the heart of the Peter-Kaiser-Platz square, just a stone’s throw from the government building.

After a proposal to create a new parliament building in Liechtenstein was rejected in a 1993 referendum due to its high cost, the Munich-based architect Hansjörg Göritz designed the building which is currently home to the parliament in 2008.

Göritz was also responsible for redesigning the central Peter-Kaiser-Platz square, named after the famous local historian Peter Kaiser, who represented Liechtenstein at the first publicly and freely elected German National Assembly in St Paul’s Church in Frankfurt in 1848.

Together with the government building and the national archive, the parliament forms the government district in Vaduz.

Rheinpark Stadion

The Rheinpark Stadion in Vaduz is the national stadium of Liechtenstein. It plays host to the home matches of the Liechtenstein national football team, and is also the home of Liechtenstein’s top football club, FC Vaduz.

The stadium was officially opened on 31 July 1998 with a match between FC Vaduz, the Liechtenstein Cup holders at the time, and 1. FC Kaiserslautern, the then Bundesliga champions. 1. FC Kaiserslautern won the match 8-0. It lies on the banks of the River Rhine, just metres from the border with Switzerland. The stadium has a fully seated capacity of 6,127. The building of the stadium cost roughly 19 million CHF.

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