The Liechtenstein family was rich and powerful long before the principality, which is named after it, was founded. Namely, the Liechtensteins possessed vast lands in Moravia, Silesia and Austria, and eventually became the richest family in the whole of the Habsburg Monarchy.
On this day in 1719, the famous Principality of Liechtenstein was created between Austria and Switzerland. The principality is today an extremely rich independent state so the circumstances of its creation are very interesting. Namely, this principality was named after the famous family Liechtenstein, which was not even originally from that area, but from the outskirts of Vienna. The family was named after the Castle Liechtenstein located on the edge of the Vienna Woods (Wienerwald). The castle still stands there and Vienna has expanded so much that the castle is today situated in the southwest edge of Vienna’s suburbs. The Liechtenstein family was rich and powerful long before the principality, which is named after it, was founded.
Namely, the Liechtensteins possessed vast lands in Moravia, Silesia and Austria, and eventually became the richest family in the whole of the Habsburg Monarchy (only the Hungarian Esterhazy family could have been compared to them). The Liechtensteins bought the lands on which the Principality of Liechtenstein lies today at the end of 17th and the beginning of 18th century. Those were the minuscule Lordship of Schellenberg and the county of Vaduz, purchased from the Hohenems family.
On this day the Habsburg Emperor Charles VI (father of Empress Maria Theresa) declared the territory of Vaduz and Schellenberg to be the new sovereign principality of Liechtenstein and its owner, Anthony Florian Liechtenstein, a sovereign prince of the Holy Roman Empire. Having a sovereign status was of great significance at the time, because the family rose to the rank of royal dynasties. Therefore, the Liechtensteins were able to wed even the European princesses of royal blood. Interestingly, the aforementioned Anton Florian, Prince of Liechtenstein, has never set foot in his principality in the Alps, but lived mostly in Vienna and on his wealthy estates in Moravia and Austria.