Discover Germany, Issue 77, August 2019

Page 70

Sunrise at Gaengle Lake. Photo: © Liechtenstein Marketing

Happy birthday, Liechtenstein! Only slightly larger than Manhattan, the Principality of Liechtenstein, landlocked between Switzerland and Austria, lies snuggled between mountain ranges which rise steeply above the River Rhine. In 2019, the world’s sixth-smallest country celebrates its 300th anniversary with plenty of fanfare. TEXT: WIBKE CARTER

No one would claim that Liechtenstein is a tourism hotspot. In fact, the country, which measures only 12.4 kilometres wide by 24.6 kilometres long, is so tiny, one has to know exactly where to look for it on a map. But Liechtenstein’s wealth of culture, charming mountain scenery and hiking paths that are picture-perfect, have been overlooked for much too long. With events and special exhibitions going on all year round for the country’s jubilee 70  |  Issue 77  |  August 2019

year, the 38,000 Liechtensteiner hope to make a lasting impression. Fireworks on national day The peak of the celebrations will be on national day, 15 August, when the royal family invites citizens and visitors from abroad to the Rose Garden at Vaduz Castle (the grounds are otherwise closed to the public). From 9.30am onwards, crowds will gather for an aperitif, then

head to the streets of the capital where beer and wine will flow freely. At 9.15pm, the traditional torch-light procession will move up the Princes' Way hiking trail before the grand finale of a fireworks display. The celebrations and musical live acts continue well into the small hours of Liechtenstein’s biggest annual party. Priceless art Hans-Adam II, prince of Liechtenstein, is one of the world’s wealthiest monarchs, and he owns a priceless art collection that includes more than two-thirds of all of Peter Paul Rubens’ paintings. From September 2019 to January 2020, for the first time since 1938, some of the royal family’s artworks will return from their per-