Vaduz Castle

Vaduz, Liechtenstein

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 13 metres and has a wall thickness on the ground floor of up to 4 m. The original entrance lay at the courtyard side at a height of 11 metres. The chapel of St. Anna was presumably built in the Middle Ages as well. The main altar is late-Gothic. In the Swabian War of 1499, the castle was burned by the Swiss Confederacy. The western side was expanded by Count Kaspar von Hohenems (1613–1640).

The Princely Family of Liechtenstein acquired Vaduz Castle in 1712 when it purchased the countship of Vaduz. At this time, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, combined the countship with the Lordship of Schellenberg, purchased by the Liechtensteins in 1699, to form the present Principality of Liechtenstein. During the medieval days of the principality, the prince could have sought refuge in the castle from a potential peasant uprising.

The castle underwent a major restoration between 1905 and 1920, then again in the early 1920s during the reign of Prince Johann II, and was expanded during the early 1930s by Prince Franz Joseph II. Since 1938, the castle has been the primary residence of Liechtenstein's Princely Family. The castle is not open to the public as the princely family still lives in the castle.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Liechtenstein

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michael Reichert (2 years ago)
Great experience walking up to see one of the oldest castles in this part of Europe. There is a walking path take a around 30 min. Don’t use car. Nature is beautiful and you would not regret. Vaduz Castle lies on a hillside 120 metres above Vaduz. It is the symbol of the capital and can be seen from far away. It is thought that the castle was constructed as a fortress as early as the 12th century, before living quarters were added in 1287. Vaduz Castle is first mentioned in documents dating back to 1322.The castle came into the ownership of the Princely Family in 1712 and the west wing served as the family's official residence until 1732. However, after that the building became increasingly dilapidated and fell into disrepair before being rebuilt and renovated between 1905 and 1912. Under Prince Franz Josef II the castle was extended and once again made fit for living. In 1939 the Prince moved in with his family and adopted Vaduz Castle as his official residence. Unfortunately, the castle is closed to visitors. However, guided tours of Vaduz and the Princely Theatre give interesting insights into the history of the castle and the Princely House.
Luke Phang (2 years ago)
The private residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein, the castle sits on top of a hill overlooking Vaduz. To reach the castle, you'll need to hike for about 30 minutes from the Vaduz city centre. The hike is quite easy, with signboards along the way telling you the story of Liechtenstein. The view gets better as you reach the top too, with a great view of Vaduz and the surrounding mountains. While you cannot enter the castle, the scenery offers a lot of great photo opportunity. As this is an outdoor activity, be sure to wear appropriate clothing and check the weather before proceeding.
Purvang Kalani (2 years ago)
Gorgeous location to take pics. The view around the castle is awesome. Could not visit due to construction and I don't think anyone can visit this castle. Worth going up the hill. Highly recommend it if you are in the area. Parking nearby is free. Free restroom right by free parking, too.
Animesh Kumar (2 years ago)
A small, beautiful castle with a magnificent picturesque background of Swiss alps. Yes it is a view you should experience personally. Serene and peaceful up there. Its a 700 year old castle still inhabited by the royal family and open to the public only once a year on August 15. The prince still lives here. Reaching here by walking from the downtown is much better than driving, since you experience and absorb the beautiful views more. There is a small observation deck on the way to the castle from where you can see the entire town of Vaduz and the surroundings snow capped Alps. 
It is a pity that the castle is not open for the public. You walk all the way up to the mountain just to watch it from the outside.
Anne B (2 years ago)
It is a nice small castle but you can only view it from the outside and just from the road actually. There is a parking a bit higher up the hill and they have some big flags at the entry which makes it look like you can visit it but this is not the case. So a bit of a waste to go all the way up. Definitely if you are hiking. Although the views are nice.
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