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Principality of Liechtenstein celebrates 300th anniversary

Three hundred years ago, the new principality of Liechtenstein was formed from the domains of Seigneury of Schellenberg and County of Vaduz by the purchase of the lands by Anton Florian of Liechtenstein and a decree from Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor. This meant that Anton Florian could be admitted to the Reichstag, which required that all its members had land that was subordinate only to the Emperor. The area is only 160 km2 (62 sq mi) and for almost 100 years, the Princes never even visited their lands. In 1719, the area only had about 3000 inhabitants. Liechtenstein is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east and north. The small country now celebrates the 300th anniversary of the Holy Roman Emperor issuing his decree.

The celebrations will include a birthday march from the Oberland (upper country) and the Unterland (lower country) to the Scheidgraden, a ditch that symbolises the unification of the two lands. Later that same day, a ceremony with guests from all over Europe will be held. In addition, the country will have exhibitions and events to celebrate the anniversary with a special event taking place on the official national day on August 15th. The National Day is celebrated on August 15th to combine the Feast of the Assumption with the birthday of Prince Franz Joseph II, which is actually on the 16th.

The Liechtensteiners are also searching for a song to embody the principality’s attitude towards life, and all its residents are invited to take part.

The current reigning Prince of Liechtenstein is Hans-Adam II. He is married to his second cousin once-removed, Countess Marie Aglaë Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau, and they have four children and 15 grandchildren together. His eldest son is Alois, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein, who has been acting as regent since 2004. It is the only European monarchy that does not allow women succession rights.

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