Big City Tales

The Loveliness of Small Cities in Liechtenstein and Luxembourg | March 1, 2018

While the monarchies of Liechtenstein and Luxembourg may not garner the same attention as other European royalty, there is no denying the loveliness of the small, yet very regal-like capital cities in their respective countries.

Liechtenstein

Nestled in the mountains between the countries of Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein is one of the world’s smallest countries with a total population of under 40,000 people.

Vaduz is the capital city and is located along the Rhine River. The city’s most famous landmark is Vaduz Castle, home to the prince of Liechtenstein and his family. The castle sits atop a steep hill in the middle of the city and is easily visible from all directions.

Every August, the royals host a huge party at the castle to celebrate National Day and the Feast of the Assumption. All residents are welcome to take part in the festivities that includes food, fireworks and festive costumes.

Other points of interest include Government House, City Hall and the Cathedral of St. Florin. Visitors to the city and other parts of Liechtenstein will note that there is a daily mandated relaxation period between the hours of noon and 1:30 p.m. with “quiet time” strictly observed.

Luxembourg 

As the world’s only remaining Grand Duchy (its head of state bears the title of Grand Duke), it seems fitting that Luxembourg and its capital, Luxembourg City, exude old world charm. In fact, owing to the preservation of ancient city quarters and fortifications, Luxembourg City’s Old Town district was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Along with Brussels and Strasbourg, Luxembourg City is one of the designated capitals of the European Union (EU) and is home to the European Court of Justice, the European Investment Bank and other EU institutions.

Some of the popular sights to see in Luxembourg City are the Royal Palace, the Place d’Armes, and the Adolphe Bridge, with its large central stone arch and lovely views of the gorge forged by the Petrusse River.

Outside of the capital region, fans of fairy tales will enjoy the numerous ancient castles that dot the landscape. Vianden Castle, located in northern Luxembourg, has been fully restored to its former glory and is noteworthy for being one of Europe’s largest and most beautiful fortified castles.

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