Liechtenstein is an Ideal Destination

By: Douglas Scott

Liechtenstein is geared up for tourism, and is well worth the visit. Most people have traditionally only passed through the country, but why not plan to spend a day or two exploring this small country with a big heart in the centre of Europe.

Liechtenstein is still split along the old country lines of the upper and lower counties. The lower is smaller and is centred on the Eschnerberg, a hill in the middle of the Rhine floodplain. Schellenberg was the name of the old county, and the village of Schellenberg still sits in the middle of the Eschnerberg, although the capital of the Unterland is Eschen.

The Rhine valley has been inhabited since Neolithic times, but was generally not regarded as prized land. The Rhine valley floor was a marshy swamp, and the mountainsides were covered in dark, gloomy and dangerous forests where wild animals roamed freely.

Over the years the valley floor was cleared, drained and cultivated, although the Rhine posed a threat right into the last century. The hillsides were cleared of trees where the locations were advantageous for settlements and agriculture.

The upper or is the larger and therefore more dominant area, containing its original capital, Vaduz, which is still the countries capital. Most of the Oberland is mountainous, with the countries ski resort, Malbun, at the middle of the Alpine base of the country.

Since the turn of the last century, Liechtenstein has identified that tourism is a lucrative industry using the natural beauty of the surrounding area. It was also at this time that the British were setting up the Swiss summer and winter tourist industry in nearby Klosters, Davos, St Moritz and Unterwasser to name but a few. The winter sports industry in Liechtenstein came later.

The First World War destroyed the industry for very obvious reasons, and the post war depression hindered any growth between the wars. It was after World War Two, therefore, that the tourist industry really took off in Liechtenstein, with Vaduz and Malbun growing with the influx of the tourists and their money.

Liechtensteiners also found an ingenious way of expanding the income opportunities in a time where countries were increasingly moving away from stamping passports, the Liechtenstein tourist office will stamp your passport, for a fee.

Winter or summer, Liechtenstein is an ideal destination for anyone who loves enjoying wonderful scenery, meeting people and encountering new customs and experiences. It is also a great place for lovers of world class gastronomy.

The restaurateurs are well known and prepare a wide range of top quality foods, served with some delightful wines and beers.

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