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About Liechtenstein - History

History of Triesenberg, Liechtenstein

The immigrant families from Wallis founded the community of Triesenberg at the end of the 13th Century. The first documentary evidence of the Walser occupation of the area comes from a document dated 1355, in which part of the Alp of Malbun is 'repossessed' by the Walsers. This, therefore means that they must have been there prior to that date.

Prehistoric finds and Roman place names, such as Guflina, Runggelina, Lavadina etc, demonstrate a usage of the mountain slopes prior to the settlement of the Walsers. The Romanisation of the language in the valley hardly affected the Walser communities on this mountainside when they arrived, leading to the distinct dialect still spoken in on the mountain.

The Chapel of St Theodul in Masescha, TriesenbergThe Walser people as they are called, first settled the higher settlements such as Masescha and Gnalp before spreading towards the valley. The settlement spread along the easiest routes to settle - with distinct areas such as Jenaboda, Rotaboda, Fromahus, Steinord, Wangerbärg & Litzi.

In Masescha the immigrants soon built a chapel dedicated to the Walser saint Theodul. The Theodulsglocke (Theodul's bell) is a legend that has been preserved in the village coat of arms granted in 1955. Until the parish church was built in the centre of Triesenberg, the village was part of the parish of Triesen, located at the base of the mountain and Schaan, the largest parish in the country.

The "Freien Walser" (Free Walsers) were granted certain privileges from the governors for their services in clearing the scrub and forest. This provided many of them with a "Freien Erbleihe" (Freehold) for the right to the best locations and usage. They were also freed of taxes and collected interest. That, however, ended in 1618 when the Dukes of Hohenems removed them, and gave them to other citizens. In 1652 the ownership of the mountain Alps were redistributed.

A view of the mountain restaurant At 2000 m above sea level on Sareis, Malbun The Alps to the Maiensässe in Steg and Silum in Triesenberg along with seven other Alps remained. The agricultural economy relied on a single dairy until 1888. The co-operative nature of the management of the Alps was beneficial to both the natural world and the farmers.

After World War 2, Triesenberg experienced the greatest economic transformation when many of the inhabitants of the village travelled into the valley to work in the growing industries and services. Triesenberg became a dormitory settlement to these companies in the valley floor.

Between 1960 and 1993 the land divisions were reassessed, mainly as a result of the drastic decline in the agricultural sector since the war. Today over two thirds of the inhabitants work in the manufacturing and service industries in the valley communities.


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