The county of Liechtenstein was formed in
1719 when an Austrian prince family named Liechtenstein
bought two counties that were merged. The area was part
of the vast German-Roman Empire. The country became
fully independent in 1866. From the mid-1800s,
Liechtenstein had close contacts with Austria, but from
the 1920s Switzerland has been its closest partner.
Liechtenstein belonged during ancient times to the
Roman province of Rhaetia. During the migration period
in the 400s AD, Germanic Alemans settled in the area.
Eventually, the area that constitutes today's
Liechtenstein became part of the German-Roman Empire,
which spread across central Europe 962-1806.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Liechtenstein, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
In 1342, Count Hartman III became ruler of the county
of Vaduz, which expanded during the following century.
The Austrian prince family Liechtenstein bought the
county of Schellenberg in 1699 and the county of Vaduz
in 1713. The two counties were merged in 1719 under the
name of Liechtenstein.
When the German-Roman Empire collapsed in 1806,
Liechtenstein became a sovereign state which was first
included in the Rhine League and then in the German
League in 1815-1866. When it was also dissolved,
Liechtenstein became a completely independent state.
A parliamentary rule was introduced with a
constitution that was adopted a few years before
independence in 1866. A few years later the army was
Liechtenstein had close contacts and a monetary union
with Austria at independence. This union lasted until
the end of the First World War when the Austrian
currency lost value and Liechtenstein looked for a new
Liechtenstein is included in cooperation with
In the 1920s, Liechtenstein entered into a currency,
postal and customs union with Switzerland and since then
the countries have worked closely together. In 1921, the
country was given a new constitution which meant
strengthening democratic rights, with power shared
between the prince and parliament.
During World War II, Liechtenstein remained neutral,
but after the war, the princely family lost their
castles and large estates in Czechoslovakia. This was a
consequence of the so-called Benes decrees, which were
mainly aimed at the Germans (see also Foreign Policy and