The Principality is one of two countries on the planet that have the same name as their head of state. Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein is, however, the first Prince who actually grew up in Liechtenstein.

For although the Princely Family is one of the oldest noble families, it has been domiciled in Liechtenstein only since 1938. The family resides at Vaduz Castle, the country's iconic building that stands majestically 120 metres above the capital.


The Liechtenstein Princely Family is one of the oldest noble families in the world. Hugo of Liechtenstein was the first member of the family to bear the name, recorded in the year 1130. He took his name from Liechtenstein Fortress to the south of Vienna. Between the late 16th century and the early 17th century, the three brothers Karl, Maximilian and Gundaker ushered in a new phase in the history of the family. In 1608, Karl was raised to the status of a hereditary price, and the three brothers multiplied the lands owned by the Liechtenstein family many times over. Their objective: to acquire territory with imperial immediacy.  It took almost another 100 years, however, before Prince Johann Adam I – Karl's grandson – had the opportunity to acquire the properties of Schellenberg and Vaduz in the years 1699 and 1712. In 1719, the two territories were merged and elevated to the status of the Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein.


While the country remained of marginal interest during the 18th century, and the family resided in Feldsberg, Eisgrub and Vienna – it became increasingly important after it achieved sovereignty in 1806. In 1938 Prince Franz Josef II (1906-1989) was the first Prince to relocate his permanent residence to Vaduz.