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Vaduz Castle

The official residence of Reigning Prince Hans-Adam II and his family, Vaduz Castle, sits atop a hill at the foot of the Swiss/Austrian Alps overlooking the tiny Liechtenstein capital - home to just over 5,000 inhabitants - that is its namesake. The original building, erected on the site in the 14th century, was destroyed during the last Swiss independence conflict, the Swabian War, in 1499. It was completely rebuilt in the 16th century.

The palace has belonged to the royal family since 1712, when Prince Johann Adam Andreas of Liechtenstein purchased the County of Vaduz and became the castle's fifth owner. But it did not become the monarch's official home until 1938, when Reigning Prince Franz-Josef II succeeded to the throne and moved his family from Vienna to Liechtenstein after Austria was annexed by Germany.

Before it became the official residence of the Liechtenstein royals, Vaduz Castle had served a number of different uses, including stints as an administrative building, a barracks, a prison and a restaurant. Today, although the inside is closed to the public, the castle continues to be a popular tourist spot because of its picturesque location and the quaint beauty of nearby Vaduz.

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