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About Liechtenstein - History

History of Schellenberg, Liechtenstein

The history of the Principality started with the municipality of Schellenberg which located on a hill. In 1699, Prince Johann Adam Andreas von Liechtenstein purchased the lands of Schellenberg, and 13 years later he bought the County of Vaduz. Only in 1719 did Vaduz and Schellenberg become independent principalities under the Holy Roman Empire.

The convent in Schellenberg

Schellenberg is the smallest town by area in Liechtenstein. The spread-out settlement with the three neighbourhoods of Vorderer, Mittlerer, & Hinterer Schellenberg are located on the ridge of the Eschnerberg. The historical mountain path is of particular interest. It shows the interested hiker images of the settlement areas of prehistoric significance. Finds testify to a continuity of settlement from the Neolithic Era, ca. 3000 B.C. to the La-Tene Era, 400 A.D.

The chapel of St. George in the area called Hinterschellenberg dates back to about 1700 and was renovated in 1980/81. The modern parish church in Mittelschellenberg was built between 1960-1963 and is protected as a landmark thanks to its architectural importance. In the square in front of the church, the parish administrative buildings such as the council offices, post office and school have been built. The dominant building in Mittelschellenberg is the Convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of Christ with the core of the building dating to 1860-73.

The 'Historische Hohenweg' (historic high pathway) on the Eschnerberg offers the walker countless opportunities to see the historic development of the human habitation of the area over the last 5000 years.

In more modern history, there is a memorial stone called 'The Russian Monument' in Hinterschellenberg that commemorates the Liechtenstein stance against Stalin after World War II. The memorial (translated) states: Here in Hinterschellenberg, on the night of 2 May 1945, the asylum-seeking remainder of the "1st Russian National Army of the German Wehrmacht" under Major General A. Holmston-Syslowski, with about 500 fully equipped men, crossed the border of the German Reich into Liechtenstein. The first negotiations took place in the "Wirtschaft zum Löwen" tavern, which led to the granting of asylum by the Principality of Liechtenstein. It was the only country which resisted the Soviet Union's extradition demands. After two and a half years, the Russians were free to leave for a country of their choice.

The Biedermann house is reputedly the oldest house in the country, and is now a museum, open to the public.

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