Inside Vaduz Castle: 12th-century 130-room home of Liechtenstein’s Royal Family

Princess Marie visits Liechtenstein Museum in 2009

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For 900 years, Liechtenstein’s Royal Family has lived in Vaduz Castle and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Liechtenstein’s tiny capital. It has been the proud home of the Liechtenstein Royal Family since the 12th-century. However, only the billionaire prince and his family get to see inside the castle.

Overlooking the beautiful Rhine River and the Swiss Alps, Vaduz Castle, otherwise known as Schloss Vaduz, is closed to visitors, except for one special day of the year.

In 1712, the Liechtenstein family, a noble family from Lower Austria, took a fancy to the castle and made it their official residence.

In subsequent years, Vaduz Castle fell into disrepair as wars raged around it and the Liechtenstein family were forced to leave their favoured home.

However, Prince Franz Josef II restored it to its former beauty in 1939 and declared it his family’s official residence once again.

The ‘bergfried’ on the eastern side of the castle, is a tall medieval tower dating from the 12th-century and is the oldest section of the castle.

The western side of the castle was developed later, reflected in its Baroque-era architecture.

The inner courtyard area is where the Royal Family reside today. Across the courtyard, in the southern wing of Vaduz Castle, there is the Chapel of St Anne.

In addition to being filled with priceless works of art, this is also the private chapel where the Royal Family attends weekly mass and where the government of Liechtenstein are sworn in.

The interior of Vaduz Castle comprises some 130 rooms. These are divided into different apartments and are used by the various members of the royal family.

Sadly, the family sold some of the castle’s valuables after World War II to boost the principality’s funds.

However, many precious artefacts remain. Royal fans, lucky enough to gain access to the interior of Vaduz Castle, can find invaluable works of art from the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Understandably, the Liechtenstein royals prefer to keep their home private.

But on one special day of the year, lucky royal fans can gain a glimpse of the interior of Vaduz Castle.

Liechtenstein’s National Day, known as ‘Staatsfeiertag’, is celebrated on August 15.

This is the much-anticipated day that the quarters of Vaduz Castle are opened.

The day usually kicks off with an official reception on the lawn followed by a drinks reception in the castle’s rose garden.

The public can enter free of charge, provided they have obtained an online ticket.

Following these festivities, a fireworks show takes place in the city centre.

At the top of the castle, royal fans will be rewarded with sweeping views over the city and mountains beyond the tiny principality.

You can see the castle from any point in the capital. With its strategically elevated location, it is a reassuring landmark that guards the capital.

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