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LiechtensteinLiechtenstein is named after the Liechtenstein family, which rules over the country. The family name comes from the Liechtenstein Castle located in Lower Austria (near Vienna), which the family ruled over in the 1100s and 1200s, then again has owned since the 1800s. Liechtenstein means "bright stone," which reflects the castle's color.

Introduction:

For much of history the mountain valley that Liechtenstein now occupies was just a part of foreign countries. This long history led to a deeply engrained culture that is rooted on Germanic culture, particularly with ties to the Germanic people in Austria and Switzerland. In fact, even today these influences are strong as nearly a third of the country's population is foreign-born and most come from the above mentioned countries or Germany.

Being far from any political center, yet falling under foreign rule for much of history, Liechtenstein was a nearly forgotten land. The people lived off the lands and the lifestyle reflected the simple lives the people led. The culture though was closely tied to their foreign powers as the people shared the German language, foods, religion (Catholicism), clothing, and other cultural aspects with neighbors.

Liechtenstein eventually gained independence through the savvy political moves of the Liechtenstein family. However, to maintain power, the country forged close relations with Austria and later with Switzerland. Even today these relationships are vital to independence and Liechtenstein shares a currency with Switzerland.

In more recent times, the country has encouraged immigration through favorable tax laws, which has encouraged the growth of business as well as wealthy individuals and families, again particularly from neighboring Germanic countries.

Today, the culture of Liechtenstein remains similar to what it has been in the past as it is tied to Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. However, the lifestyle is ever-changing, particularly given the fact that it is becoming a destination for people as the focus shifts to economics and business development. The country's identity remains steadfast in its attachment to being "Liechtensteiners," which is an identity heavily based on being born and raised in Liechtenstein and is among the greatest differences between the locals and foreigners.

The colors on the flag of Liechtenstein have unknown origins, but likely come from a design the House of Liechtenstein used in the 1700s. The crown was added in 1937 to distinguish this flag from that of Haiti, which now has their coat of arms on the flag to distinguish it.

Name: Principality of Liechtenstein
Independence: January 23, 1719
Capital: Vaduz
Currency: Swiss Franc
Population: 37,009 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Liechtensteiner & others
Language: German
Religion: Roman Catholic

Information for Liechtenstein was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks