Liechtenstein



Official name: Principality of Liechtenstein

Area: 160 square kilometers (62 square miles)

Highest point on mainland: Grauspitz (2,599 meters/8,527 feet)

Lowest point on land: Ruggeller Riet (430 meters/1,411 feet)

Hemispheres: Northern and Eastern

Time zone: 1 P.M. = noon GMT

Longest distances: 9.4 kilometers (5.8 miles) from east to west; 24.5 kilometers (15.2 miles) from north to south

Land boundaries: 76 kilometers (47 miles) total boundary length; Austria 35 kilometers (22 miles); Switzerland 41 kilometers (25 miles)

Coastline: None

Territorial sea limits: None

1 LOCATION AND SIZE

With an area slightly smaller than that of Washington, D.C., Liechtenstein is one of the smallest countries in the world, and the fourth-smallest in Euroh2. Shaped like an elongated triangle, it is sandwiched between the Swiss cantons of Graubünden and St. Gall to the south and west, and the Austrian province of Vorarlberg to the north and east.

2 TERRITORIES AND DEPENDENCIES

Liechtenstein has no territories or dependencies.

3 CLIMATE

Liechtenstein has a continental climate tempered by a warm south wind called the fohn. Even at the upper Alpine elevations, winter temperatures rarely drop below -15°C (5°F), and lowland temperatures average -5°C (24°F) in January. Summer highs are generally between 20°C (68°F) and 28°C (82°F). Annual precipitation ranges from 91 to 114 centimeters (36 to 45 inches). The higher Alpine peaks are snowcapped year-round.

4 TOPOGRAPHIC REGIONS

The western third of Liechtenstein lies on flat land in the floodplain of the Rhine River, which forms its western boundary. The eastern region consists of Alpine highlands.

5 OCEANS AND SEAS

Liechtenstein is landlocked.

6 INLAND LAKES

Liechtenstein has no major inland lakes.

7 RIVERS AND WATERFALLS

The Rhine River and its tributaries drain most of Liechtenstein. The mountain valleys to the east are drained by the Samina River, which rises in the southeast and flows northward through Liechtenstein's mountains into Austria.

8 DESERTS

There are no deserts in Liechtenstein.

9 FLAT AND ROLLING TERRAIN

An unusual hill formation, called the Eschnerberg, rises to heights of 730 meters (2,395 feet) on the flat terrain of Liechtenstein's western plains area. Meadows and pastureland make up about 40 percent of the total land area.

10 MOUNTAINS AND VOLCANOES

Liechtenstein's Alpine foothills and peaks are located on a spur of the Rhaetian Alps called the Rhätikon Massif. Three main valleys traverse the country's mountains. Their highest point is the Grauspitz, which rises to 8,527 feet (2,599 meters) on the southeastern border with Switzerland.

11 CANYONS AND CAVES

Over the course of many centuries, water has carved a gorge 300 meters (985 feet) deep in the Salzach Valley.

12 PLATEAUS AND MONOLITHS

An unusual hill formation, called the Eschnerberg, rises to heights of 730 meters (2,395 feet) on the flat terrain of Liechtenstein's western plains area.

13 MAN-MADE FEATURES

Former marshland on the banks of the Rhine was reclaimed for agricultural use in the first half of the twentieth century. Both concrete and wooden bridges span the Rhine, connecting Liechtenstein to neighboring Switzerland.

DID YOU KNOW?

Liechtenstein is one of only two countries in the world that are doubly landlocked (surrounded by other landlocked countries). The other is Uzbekistan.

14 FURTHER READING

Books

Cussans, Thomas, ed. Fodor's Switzerland. New York: Fodor's Travel Publications, 1988.

Frommer's Switzerland and Liechtenstein . New York: Prentice Hall Travel, 1994.

Greene, Barbara. Valley of Peace: The Story of Liechtenstein . Vaduz: Liechtenstein Verlag, 1947.

Web Sites

Lonely Planet World Guide: Destination Liechtenstein. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/europe/liechtenstein/ (accessed April 13, 2003).

Travel.orgwebsite . http://www.travel.org/liechtens.html (accessed April 24, 2003).



Also read article about Liechtenstein from Wikipedia

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