The population of the entire country is put at just about 37,000! The land mass is just roughly 62 square miles. This is Liechtenstein, one of the smallest countries in the world. To be specific, Liechtenstein is the sixth-smallest. For such a palm-sized principality, Liechtenstein has got a sizeable number of compelling qualities. Following are just a few funny facts about the alpine microstate of Liechtenstein.
Population: 36,925 (2013) World Bank
Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)
Leaders: Prince Hans-Adam
Official Language: German
Funny Facts About Liechtenstein
1. ACCIDENTAL SWISS INVASION
Liechtenstein is such a small island that in March 2007, Switzerland accidentally "invaded" it. About 170 Swiss infantry soldiers armed with assault rifles wandered across the unmarked border for more than a mile into Liechtenstein before realizing their mistake.
2. YEARLY PARTY FOR ALL
Once a year that is on Liechtenstein's national holiday, head of state, HSH Prince Hans-Adam II, and his son, HSH Prince Alois host all residents of their tiny principality to a party in the garden of Vaduz Castle. The castle is the princely ancestral residence.
By the way, where other monarchies use HRH, the Liechtenstein monarch uses HSH which stands for His Serene Highness.
3. NO ARMY
As it happens, Liechtenstein has no army of its own, and admits that it didn't even notice the inadvertent Swiss invasion of March 2007! The country had to be informed of it!
4. LEADING MANUFACTURER OF FALSE TEETH.
The false teeth output by a company called Ivoclar Vivadent based in Liechtenstein accounts for 20 percent of the total sales worldwide. The company is responsible for the production of some 60 million sets every year! This in more than 10,000 different models!
5. WAS ONCE RENTABLE
In 2011, you could rent the whole country of Liechtenstein. And that was for a paltry $70,000 a night! The idea was hatched between Airbnb (a lodging site), and Xnet (a Liechtenstein-based marketing firm, aka Rent-a-Village). The deal got a client the following and more:
- Accommodation for 150 guests
- Customized street signs
- A symbolic key to the state
- A wine tasting with Prince Hans-Adam II
- And your own temporary currency
6. SIMILARITY WITH UK ANTHEM
Liechtenstein's national anthem, "Oben am jungen Rhein" ("Up above the young Rhine") and UK's "God Save the Queen," have the same melody. So, when Northern Ireland played against Liechtenstein in Euro 2004 qualifier game, the same national melody was played twice in a row.
7. SELFLESS TO A FAULT
This tiny country was once selfless to her own national detriment. After the end of World War II, Liechtenstein took in 500 Russians who had fought on the side of Germany as refugees. But the country neither had the space nor the food to shoulder that responsibility.
Eventually, Argentina came to the rescue by taking the 500 refugees, making it possible for Liechtenstein to sigh in relief.
8. THE COUNTRY IS DOUBLE-LANDLOCKED
Austria borders Liechtenstein to the north and east; and Switzerland borders it to the south and west. These two countries are themselves landlocked. Meaning, it is land-locked by two countries that are themselves land-locked.
9. QUIET TIMES ARE SACRED
Liechtenstein has a pamphlet that is mainly directed toward new immigrants. The pamphlet calls attention to two things that are forbidden at certain specific times:
- Mowing lawns
- Holding "noisy festivities"
And the specific times these things are forbidden are:
- During the country's official lunch break, 12.00 noon to 1:30 p.m.
- After 10 p.m.
10. WAS IGNORED AND NEGLECTED
The island was originally purchased by the princes of Liechtenstein for its political value. Then they had it declared the Liechtenstein Principality in 1806.
But none of the princes went there until a century after it was declared a principality. And many decades after that, the first prince of Liechtenstein to actually reside in it was Franz Josef II. He was the father of the current prince, who moved there in 1938.