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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Lednice Castle

The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.

At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.

During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.

In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.

In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.

The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.