|Schloß Vaduz (German)|
|Construction started||12th century|
|Owner||Princely Family of Liechtenstein|
Vaduz Castle (German Schloß Vaduz) 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 earliest mention of the castle can be found in the deed of Count Rudolf von Werdenberg-Sargans for a sale to Ulrich von Matsch. 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.
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.
During the medieval days of the principality, the prince could have sought refuge in the castle from a potential peasant uprising. Over the years, there has been a decreasing number of military soldiers, now only one or two police guard and patrol the outside of the castle at one given time. Most of the time there is just one guard that is stationed at the front gate. There has not been an assassination attempt on any member of the princely family since World War II.
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