Liechtenstein

Driving Directions Liechtenstein

LIECHTENSTEIN is a small independent state sandwiched between Switzerland in the north, west, and south and Austria in the east. Liechtenstein is a hereditary, constitutional monarchy whose population shares many links with their near neigh­bours in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. German is the official lan­guage within the principality, but a dialect called Alemannish is also in everyday use.

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The upper reaches of the River Rhine flow along the western boundary of the principality while to the east and south lie the foothills of the Austrian Alps, reaching heights over 2,438 meters or 8,000 feet. The highest peak, on the border with Switzerland, is Grauspitz (2,599 meters or 8,527 feet).

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Apart from the Rhine and its tributary streams, the second most important river is the Samina, which flows in a south-southeasterly direction from the mountains. The capital and principal town are Vaduz, situated in the west and center of the principality overlooking the River Rhine.

Liechtenstein’s small amount of farmland, mainly located within the Rhine valley, and cereals, potatoes, vegetables, and grapes (for wine) are the main crops grown. Goats, sheep, and cattle are reared in small numbers and grazed traditionally in Alpine meadows in the summer. The mainstays of the highly prosperous economy are international banking and financial services, sale of postage stamps, and tourism.

Many global businesses have set up companies in Liechtenstein because of extremely favorable tax regulations. Manufacturing has developed rapidly in the principality since the end of the Second World War, and goods include precision tools and instruments, foods, pharmaceuticals, metal goods, pottery, and furniture.

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