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Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein

Prince of liechtenstein
The basics
AKA Johann II.
Date of birth Lednice, Lednice, Břeclav District, South Moravian Region
Date of death Feb 11, 1929 Valtice Castle, Valtice, Břeclav District, South Moravian Region
Sister(s): Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein Princess Henriette of Liechtenstein Princess Theresa of Liechtenstein
Mother: Countess Franziska Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau
Brother(s): Franz I Prince of Liechtenstein
Father: Aloys II, Prince of Liechtenstein
Awards Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
Authority VIAF id Library of congress id
The details

Johann II (German: Johann Maria Franz Placidus; 5 October 1840 – 11 February 1929), also known as Johann II the Good (Johann II der Gute), was the Prince of Liechtenstein between 1858 and 1929. His reign of 70 years and 91 days is the second-longest in European royal history after that of Louis XIV of France.

Early life

Johann II was the elder son of Aloys II, Prince of Liechtenstein and Countess Franziska Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau. He ascended to the throne shortly after his 18th birthday, and as such his reign is the longest precisely documented tenure of any European monarch since antiquity in which a regent was never employed. Rama IX of Thailand exceeded this reign by a scant 35 days.

Law and reform

In 1862, Johann II issued Liechtenstein's first constitution. Later, after Liechtenstein left the German confederation in 1866 and after World War I, Johann II granted a new constitution in 1921. It granted considerable political rights to common Liechtensteiners, the latter making the principality a constitutional monarchy. This constitution survives today but with revisions, most notably in 2003.

Liechtenstein left the German Confederation in 1866. Not long after, the army of Liechtenstein was abolished as it was regarded as an unnecessary expense.

Foreign affairs

Johann II somewhat cooled relations with Liechtenstein's traditional ally, Austria-Hungary and its successor states, to forge closer relations with Switzerland, particularly after World War I. Liechtenstein was neutral during World War I, but the war broke Liechtenstein's alliance with Austria-Hungary and led it to go into a customs union with Switzerland. Late in Johann's reign, in 1924, the Swiss franc became Liechtenstein's official currency.

Patron of the arts

Johann II added much to the Liechtenstein Princely Collections. Although considered a prominent patron of the arts and sciences during his long reign, Johann II was also considered to be rather unsociable and did not participate in social events. He never married or had any children, like several other members of his family.

Between 1905–1920, Schloss Vaduz was renovated and expanded. Prince Johann II did not live in the castle or even Liechtenstein, though his successors would eventually move there in 1938. Schloss Vaduz would be their home.

He was the 987th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Austria.

Upon his death in 1929, Johann II was succeeded by his brother Franz I.


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