1st Blog by Gina Gadomski , 19 September 2023, 2:28 PM „Why?“

"Where is Liechtenstein?" That was the question I got asked the most in the past few months. Ever since I decided to do an Erasmus-semester, my family and friends from home as well as my new roommates and fellow students in Vaduz wanted to know "Why?". Therefore I wanted to discover what Liechtenstein is all about.

Getting used to the language was not the biggest deal for me, but the environment. I moved from a bigger city to a small capital/ country (compared to my home in Germany). Here, everything is easily accessible on foot or by bike.

I chose a cross faculty course at the university called "Sehen durch Zeichnen". We walked through the whole city of Vaduz and drew multiple scenery. That way I was able to get to know the country in my first week. Besides the modern architecture, I became aware of the many old historically and still existing buildings. I saw art in different forms in various places. Liechtenstein is a home to countless statues and monuments. In addition, the city has interesting museums and institutions in the sense of culture. I got to visit some of them already.

Although I have only been in my new home for a few weeks, I have already learned a lot about the country. I am also very interested in history. I read about Liechtenstein and discovered that certain tribes and the Celts had a great influence on the current principality. Later the region became the Roman province of Rhaetia. From Charlemagne to the duchy to the county - the country of Liechtenstein is marked by interesting history. After all I learned that it became an independent state through the purchase of Prince Johann Adam I. As with many important aspects of Liechtenstein, the current Roman Catholic state religion has its origins in the past. I experience every day by my own personal alarm clock how important faith is for the nation. Every morning at 7 am sharp the bells of the church ring right outside my window. I was not fond of it in the beginning but now I got used to starting my day like that. Apart from this at my first week was the feast day of the birth of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Where I come from this day is not celebrated. It was interesting to see how people honor it.

Whenever I have free time, I explore the country. Besides the beautiful architecture, there is a lot of greenery and animals everywhere.

As a group, we went to see the Alpabtrieb together. I love cows! It makes me so happy to see how much traditions are kept here and treasured. This was the first time experiencing something like this. Is was a great adventure. We were so full of emotions that day. All the streets and cows were decorated with a lot of different colors and all kinds of flowers. This trip will always remain one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

The next morning we woke up at 5 am to watch the sunrise on the Alpspitz. That didn't quite work out. The scenery kept mesmerizing us. We stopped so many times and just stood there looking at the mountain ranges. It was such a beautiful view of landscape in the bright colors of the sunrise. It seemed to us as ist if was painted. Nevertheless we climbed up until we reached the summit. We were so happy that we made it up the mountain. As a reward we immortalized ourselves in the book. What a day.

To answer my question from the beginning: If you are just passing by, you might just think it is all the same. But in my experience so far, it is completely the opposite. Vaduz has its very own charm. "Klein, aber fein", a quote from my home country. It means as much as "small, but quite nice". Reading about the quality of life, the culture and landscape in this region convinced me to give it a shot and do my semester abroad in Liechtenstein. But living here is what definitely will keep me here!