Country Briefs: The ideal hub of skiers and philatelists, Liechtenstein is a small cozy town in Western Europe. Liechtenstein lies on the east bank of Rhine River south of Lake Constance between Austria and Switzerland.
Liechtenstein is bordered by Switzerland to its west and by Austria to its east. Liechtenstein consists of low valley land and Alpine peaks.
Liechtenstein spreads over an area of 160 square kilometers and inhabits a population of 32,528 people. The capital city of Liechtenstein is Vaduz. Vaduz is the seat of the national parliament. Schaan is the biggest municipality of Liechtenstein.
On looking at the history of Liechtenstein it is revealed that in olden times Liechtenstein was a part of ancient roman province of Raetia. The Liechtenstein dynasty from which the principality derives its name belongs to the Castle Liechtenstein lying in Lower Austria.
During its reign the Liechtenstein dynasty acquired many lands particularly in Moravia, Lower Austria, Silesia and Styria though these territories were under the rule of the fiefs and the feudal lords of the Habsburgs family.
By virtue of the indirect hold over these territories Liechtenstein dynasty could qualify for the Reichstag, the parliament of the Holy Roman Empire, the North German Confederation and of Germany till 1945.
Soon after the Liechtenstein dynasty purchased the miniscule lordship of Schellenberg and the countship of Vaduz from the Hohenems. Emperor Charles VI announced the unification of Vaduz and Schellenberg and elevating their status to Liechtenstein in the honor of his loyal servant Anton Florian of Liechtenstein. On 23rd July 1719 Liechtenstein became a sovereign member state of the Holy Roman Empire.
Few years later, in 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte?s France invaded the Holy Roman Empire. This led to various socio-political disturbances in the country.
Liechtenstein was closely related to Austria till the First World War. But due to the economic crisis that Liechtenstein suffered at the end of the war the country had a customary and monetary union with Switzerland.
Liechtenstein was absolutely unbiased during the Second World War. Cut at the end of the war Czechoslovakia and Poland in trying to seize German possessions confiscated Liechtenstein dynasty's hereditary possessions of land and money.
It is believed that the expropriations comprised of around 1600 square kilometers of agricultural and forest land, family castles and palaces.
The financial position of the country wrecked to the extent that it had to sell off family artistic treasures even the pricey ones like Da Vinci's portrait "Ginevra de Benci". The United States of America purchased this masterpiece.
Time passed by and gradually Liechtenstein strengthened its economy and became financially stable. Liechtenstein prospered and progressed to a great extent in every area including government, laws, tax rates etc.
The Prince of Liechtenstein has a wealth of around 2 billion dollars and so is one of the richest heads-of-state.
The residents of the country too have a decent standard of living. At present Liechtenstein is also known as a tax haven, a place where taxes are levied at a low rate or do not exist at all.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes. If periods are replaced by hyphens, these are the same as the commune codes from the draft standard ISO/DIS 3166-2.
- ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
- Population: 2000-12-05 census.
- County: Old county to which the commune belongs (S=Schellenberg, V=Vaduz).
- Capital: Capital always has the same name as its commune.