4 June 2012

1712 - Das Werden eines Landes (1712 - A country emerges)

If you have ever dreamt of visiting the principality of Liechtenstein one day, maybe 2012 should be the year to do something about it? This year Liechtenstein celebrates the tercentenary of the purchase of the county of Vaduz by Prince Johann (Hans) Adam I Andreas of Liechtenstein (1657-1712), and in this connection the Liechtensteinisches Landesmuseum has created a special exhibition called 1712 - Das Werden eines Landes ("1712 - A country merges") where one through a series of documents, paintings and other valuable objects can learn the history of the purchase and of the key players.

In 1699  Prince Hans Adam I ("the Rich") had purchased the duchy of Schellenberg, which corresponds to the present-day Liechtenstein Unterland. As explained in the press release from Liechtensteinisches Landesmuseum, when both Vaduz and Schellenberg were bought, the Liechtenstein dynasty gained control of non-intermediate territories which were held directly under the imperial throne. The purchase enabled the princes to qualify for a seat and a vote in the Imperial diet of the Holy Roman Empire. In other words a foundation was laid for the later sovereign country of Liechtenstein.

I learned about the exhibition through the Liechtenstein Marketing's June 2012 newsletter, which arrived in my mailbox today. The exhibition opened already on 5 April this year and can be visited until 14 October. More details can be found in the said press release (there is a summary in English) with photos of several of the exhibition objects. Seems like a great exhibition! Unfortunately I will probably not be able to visit Liechtenstein this year. My only visit to the principality so far took place in May 2005. I will return with a blog article from my visit later on.

The portrait of Prince Hans Adam I shown above is displayed in the exhibition. The image is taken from the museum's press photo section.

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