Triesenberg, Liechtenstein – Beginning the ascent of the country

Just south of the capital of Liechtenstein, Vaduz, there exist two towns with similar names. The first is Triesen, which like Vaduz, is located next to the Rhein River. Triesenberg (as the name suggested if you understand German), sits above Triesen on the side of one of the mountains in Liechtenstein. It is hard to tell these two towns apart as they seem to run into each other, but my favourite of the two definitely has to be Triesenberg.

Why you may ask. Well, that is the simple part: the buildings and the views. Triesen seems to be somewhat more modern while Triesenberg seems to be older. Historically, this is the reverse as people have lived in the lower one since Neolithic times; the higher one has only been around since the Middle Ages. What sets Triesenberg apart is two things: the church and the views.

The church

The Roman Catholic Church in Triesenberg is quite large for Liechtenstein and is easily recognisable from afar. This is mostly because the steep slope of this area rises by more than 200 metres/approx. 650 ft over half a kilometre or so, meaning that the slope is extremely steep. The church tower also helps at this point. It has a ball-like structure near the top, allowing viewers to pick it out from other surrounding buildings.

The church, like its equivalent in Balzers, is also a more recent construction. The interior is really what gives this away, with the walls painted a modern white colour. However, this serves as a great contrast to the stained windows which adorn the hexagonal interior of the church, rather than in traditional naves of older churches. Think about the cross shape that church builders generally follow. The nave is the long part at the bottom where the congregation usually sits and has the main door at the far end.

My favourite part of the town were the views. As Triesenberg is partially up the mountain (approx. 500 metres/1600 feet above the valley floor), it has wonderful views up and down the valley as well as across the river to Switzerland. We were there during the morning of a sunny day (although this was going to turn dark and stormy when we reached Steg), we were able to see quite far in both directions. Triesenberg offers the best location for looking at up and down the valley, at least on the Liechtensteiner side due to its location. No other area (the small villages that surround Triesenberg notwithstanding) offers these kinds of views; towns further up are nestled between mountains (accessible by a tunnel only from the Rhein area) or are around the northern side of the mountains, offering views into Austria instead.

Here are some more photos from around the town:

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