One of the smallest sovereign countries in the world is Lichtenstein. This small country, sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland, has from its beginnings before the 12th century been important to the countries that surround it. Originally, two separate properties, Vaduz and Schellenberg, they were purchased by Prince Hans Adam I and merged into one.
The Lichtenstein family is one of the oldest continuous noble families in Europe. One of the oldest references was in 1136 to a Hugo of Lichtenstein. The name was taken from the family holdings which are in the modern day Czech Republic. Although it is highly unlikely they will ever retrieve them, the family still lays claim to them and periodically demands reparations (they know they will never receive) from the Czech government.This Day in History: By Imperial diploma dated 23 January _____, the two territories of Vaduz and Schellenberg were united and raised to the rank of Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein.