Castles and Palaces in Liechtenstein

Vaduz Castle

Vaduz Castle is the palace and official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein. The castle gave its name to the town of Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, which it overlooks from an adjacent hilltop. The erstwhile owners - presumably also the builders - were the Counts of Werdenberg-Sargans. The Bergfried (keep, 12th century) and parts of the eastern side are the oldest. The tower stands on a piece of ground some 12 x ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Gutenberg Castle

Gutenberg Castle is one of the five castles of the Liechtenstein principality and one of two that have survived preserved until the present day. The castle hill has been inhabited since the Neolithic Period. Archeological digs have uncovered several prehistoric artefacts, including the 12cm Mars von Gutenberg figurine, now on display in the Liechtenstein National Museum. Gutenberg Castle began its existence as a medieval ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Balzers, Liechtenstein

Obere Burg

Obere Burg ('Upper Castle'), also known colloquially as Burg Neu-Schellenberg, is the larger and older one of the two ruined castles in Schellenberg. Its construction was finished already around 1200. The castles"s first appearance in written records occurred on the 10th of January 1348. According to current estimates, it was inhabited until roughly the 16th century, when it was abandoned and ceased to func ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Schellenberg, Liechtenstein

Untere Burg

Untere Burg ('Lower Castle'), also known colloquially as Burg Alt-Schellenberg, is the smaller and newer one of the two ruined castles in Schellenberg. Its construction was finished around 1250. Its first appearance in written records is from 1317. The castle reached the pinnacle of its structural expansion around the year 1350. According to current estimates, it was inhabited until roughly the 16th century, whe ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Schellenberg, Liechtenstein

Schalun Castle Ruins

Schalun Castle, also known colloquially as Wildschloss, was constructed probably during the second half of the 12th century or around the turn of the 12th century. The first written record about the castle comes from 1237. In it, it was also first referred to by name, as 'Schalun'. Archeological digs made in recent decades have revealed only small amounts of artefacts from the medieval and early modern period, s ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Eketorp Fort

Eketorp is an Iron Age fort in southeastern Öland, which was extensively reconstructed and enlarged in the Middle Ages. Throughout the ages the fortification has served a variety of somewhat differing uses: from defensive ringfort, to medieval safe haven and thence a cavalry garrison. In the 20th century it was further reconstructed to become a heavily visited tourist site and a location for re-enactment of medieval battles. Eketorp is the only one of the 19 known prehistoric fortifications on Öland that has been completely excavated, yielding a total of over 24,000 individual artifacts. The entirety of southern Öland has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Eketorp fortification is often referred to as Eketorp Castle.

The indigenous peoples of the Iron Age constructed the original fortification about 400 AD, a period known to have engendered contact between Öland natives with Romans and other Europeans. The ringfort in that era is thought to have been a gathering place for religious ceremonies and also a place of refuge for the local agricultural community when an outside enemy appeared. The circular design was believed to be chosen because the terrain is so level that attack from any side was equally likely. The original diameter of this circular stone fortification was about 57 metres. In the next century the stone was moved outward to construct a new circular structure of about 80 metres in diameter. At this juncture there were known to be about fifty individual cells or small structures within the fort as a whole. Some of these cells were in the center of the fortified ring, and some were actually built into the wall itself.

In the late 600s AD the ringfort was mysteriously abandoned, and it remained unused until the early 11th century. This 11th century work generally built upon the earlier fort, except that stone interior cells were replaced with timber structures, and a second outer defensive wall was erected.

Presently the fort is used as a tourist site for visitors to Öland to experience a medieval fortification for this region. A museum within the castle walls displays a few of the large number of artefacts retrieved by the National Heritage Board during the major decade long excavation ending in 1974. Inside the fort visitors are greeted by actors in medieval costumes who assume the roles of period artisans and merchants who might have lived there nine centuries earlier. There are also re-enactment scenes of skirmishes and other dramatic events of daily life from the Middle Ages.

Eketorp lies a few kilometers west of Route 136. There is an ample unpaved parking area situated approximately two kilometers west of the paved Öland perimeter highway. There is also a gift shop on site. During peak summer visitation, there are guided tours available. Visitors are assessed an admission charge.