Liechtenstein’s Unterland – A Paradise For Lovers Of History

Formed by the Rhine Valley, Liechtenstein’s Unterland, which means lower country, is at the foot of the Drei Schwestern Mountain running along the slopes of the Eschnerberg ridge and framed by the scenic expanse of the Rhine Valley. www.descol.hr

This picturesque region of rolling wooded hills and stunning meadows is more than just a rambler’s jaunt. It is also home to the Eschnerberg Historical Trail – a paradise for lovers of history. An extensive network of footpaths in the area will take you along a stretch of villages boasting of rich history and culture. In fact, some of them dating back to the New Stone Age and features various archaeological finds that will make any history buff’s day. In addition, you will be guided by about 45 sign posts explaining the historical significance of the areas you discover and explore along the way.

Schellenberg is the best place to start exploring the Eschnerberg Historical Trail. This small village is said to have already been settled at the dawn of the New Stone Age and that alone is mind blowing. The hamlet is dominated by the Obere Burg Schellenberg, one of the two castles built here during the Middle Ages. Discover the ruins of the 13th century castle and enjoy the spectacular views it provides before you head out to explore other historical settlements further along the trail.

Hike downhill and you will find at the foot of the Eschnerberg the village of Mauren – the gateway to Austria. But you are not visiting to cross the border here but rather, you are there to explore various historical artifacts such as the ruins of Roman baths and other archaeological finds. Be sure to visit the impressive church that dates to 1787 while you are here. You can then cross the expanse of scenic woodlands and meadows that will bring you to the village of Schaanwald.

However, avid bird-watchers may find themselves happily occupied in the woodlands – a protected bird sanctuary – viewing the different species of birds they will discover along the wooded nature trail.

Move downstream along the Rhine and you will encounter the wonderful villages of Gamprin and Bendern. The hamlets history is also traced back to the New Stone Age and there is much to do in the area. One of the highlights is the ancient Bendern Church that dates back to 809 AD and still stands impressively to this day.

Not far away from the church you can enjoy the ruins of a much smaller 55 AD church as well as the one of a kind Mariengrotte shrine. It is also interesting to note that Gamprin is a very significant historical site in the country’s history as this is where the first oath of allegiance to the Prince of Liechtenstein was made back in the day. In addition to its historical offerings, the area’s breathtaking landscape is also a feast for the eyes. Hit the nearby campground where you can soak up the sights and rest your weary limbs for a while.

Finally, the Eschnerberg Historical Trail will also lead you to the villages of Eschen and Nendeln where you can find ruins of prehistoric settlements and what remains of a Roman villa. Other structures worth exploring include the Pfrundhaus, the Holy Cross Chapel and the small churches of St. Sebastian and Rochus.

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