Lonely Planet review
Once the muse of Italian landscape painter Canaletto, Palais Liechtenstein is a sublime baroque palace, which sits in beautifully landscaped, sculpture-dotted grounds. The palace, containing the private collection of Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, with around 200 paintings and 50 sculptures dating from 1500 to 1700, can be visited twice monthly on hour-long guided tours (in German only). Book ahead.
On the ground floor, the unmissable Gentlemen’s Apartment Library is a magnificent neoclassical hall containing about 100,000 books and frescos by Johann Michael Rottmayr. Upstairs is the Herkulessaal (Hercules Hall) – so named for the Hercules motifs within its ceiling frescos by renowned Roman painter Andrea Pozzo (1642–1709). Surrounding the hall are seven galleries providing a trip through 200 years of art history, including such stunners as Raphael’s Portrait of a Man (1503) and Rubens' intensely perceptive Portrait of Clara Serena Rubens (1616), alongside masterpieces of the Van Dyck and Frans Hals ilk. Keep an eye out for the world’s most valuable piece of furniture, the Florentine Badminton Cabinet , made for the British nobleman Henry Somerset, the Third Duke of Beaufort, in the 1720s.
Until 1938, the royal family of Liechtenstein resided in Vienna, but after the Anschluss they bid a hasty retreat to their small country squeezed between Austria and Switzerland. They didn’t manage to take everything with them, and it was only near the end of WWII that they transferred their collection of baroque masterpieces to Vaduz.