History of Gamprin/Bendern, Liechtenstein

The history of Gamprin is closely connected with that of Bendern. Bendern probably played a more important historic role than Gamprin, as Bendern was a fortified square, where the inhabitants of the area looked for protection and refuge in times of war. Bendern was also seat of the church and a monastery that exerted a large influence on the environment.

Gamprin/Bendern, an age-old settlement area

Today's parish area is an old settlement site, though the prehistoric settlements do not occupy the same areas as today's village. From excavations in the Gamprin/Bendern in the 19th century, we can picture the ancient settlements. The finds were usually accidental, occuring during construction and excavation work, from the Stone -, Bronze and Iron Age. The "Lotzagüatle" settlement on Gampriner territory, was shown to be the oldest example of human habitation in Liechtenstein. There on the highest point of the Eschnerberg, man settled as early as the Early Stone Age, approx. 4000 years B.C.

Gamprin Bendern under Roman rule

At the time of the birth of Christ, the area was conquered and settled by the Romans. It is accepted that the Romans did not displace the indigenous population at that time and that co-existed and even mixed with the locals. The name shows it's Roman origin - "campus Rheni" (field on the Rhine). It was at this time that the first conversions to Christianity occurred in the area.

Roman habits

The area owes much to Roman rule. In order to 'chain' its subjects to Rome, and prevent uprisings, the emperors of Rome appeared to forbid everything the locals did. They sent large garrisons of soldiers into the country in order to supervise the people. They also built beautiful roads. With the soldiers, buyers and immigrants, their language (Latin) also entered the country. Under Roman rule, agriculture, wine and fruit-growing flourished everywhere, where soil conditions allowed. It is accepted that the Roman troops withdrew in 5th Century AD, since they were increasingly displaced by the Alemannen.

Chronology of village history

Many important years from village history are closely interlaced with church history.

6th Century AD - Buildings were erected on the Benderer church hill, becoming the centre of the area. The hill already had a pre-historic settlement.

1499 Swabian war - A small Swabian troop billeted at Bendern. When the locals over the Rhine raided them, the Swabia scoffed and incited them, naming a calf "Ammann Ruodi" - obviously a derogatory name, provoking the locals to cross the Rhine, where in Bendern, they assembled to plunder and burn the place down.

1587 - On the Easter procession from Bendern, the ferry boat crossing the Rhine sank. 120 passengers, mainly from the Swiss village of Gams, drowned.

1618 - 1648 - During the 30-years war. In the time of the so-called Bündner (Leagueists) confusions (1622 - 1637) Liechtenstein and the parish Gamprin/Bendern billeted soldiers, losing in total tens of thousands of people to the passage of war and the plague.

16 March 1699 - An investiture of the Unterländer took place "auf der Platte" (today's Bongertplatz) in Bendern in front of Prince Johann Adam of Liechtenstein, thus beginning the transition of the Unterland to the Princely house Liechtenstein.

1794 - A tithe division took place between Eschen and Gamprin, dividing all municipal property of meadows, marshes, fields and forests.

1799 - French troops crossed the Rhine at Bendern under the command of General Massena.

1867/68 - Building of a wooden Rhine bridge, which burned down in the year 1874.

1873 - Separation of the villages Ruggell and 1881 of the village of Schellenberg from the parish of Bendern. In accordance with the first point of statute, agreed between the national government and the bishop of Chur, the municipality of Gamprin and the parish Bendern were finally identified as one and the same.

1895/96 - Building of a new timber bridge over the Rhine.

1963/65 - Building of the new Rhine bridge Bendern-Haag.

1974 - On 26 June, the old wooden Rhine bridge burned down.

1980 - Introduction of women's rights to vote at a district level as the second municipality of the country to do so. With the next village elections in 1983 two women, Maria Marxer and Elsa Oehri, were immediately elected into the local council. The municipality Gamprin/Bendern elected Maria Marxer as the first female Parish council leader in the country from 1991-1995.

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