At the top of a well-marked hill road (you can climb the forest footpath between Restaurant Ratskeller and Café Burg) stands Vaduz Castle. Here His Serene Highness Hans-Adam II, prince of Liechtenstein, reigns in a gratifyingly romantic fortress-home with red and white medieval shutters, massive ramparts, and a broad perspective over the Rhine Valley. Originally built in the 12th century, the castle was burned down by troops of the Swiss Confederation in the Swabian Wars
of 1499 and partly rebuilt during the following centuries. A complete overhaul that started in 1905 gave it its present form. It is not open to the public, as Hans-Adam II enjoys his privacy. He is the son of the late beloved Franz Josef II, who died in November 1989 after more than a 50-year reign. Franz Josef's birthday, August 15, is still celebrated as the Liechtenstein national holiday. Heir to the throne Prince Alois increasingly has taken over daily business while Hans-Adam II spends his time in Vienna, where the family museum is one of the city's finest cultural jewels.