Volltext: Jahrbuch des Historischen Vereins für das Fürstentum Liechtenstein (2008) (107)

t St. Mamertus chapel is the oldest Christian building in Liechtenstein. In ancient times there was a Roman camp on the site of Triesen, near which this sylvan chapel Stands, but a land- slide wiped it out. The dike- tamed Rhine crosses the middle distance and the eastward slope of Switzer- land lies beyond. 
robbing this myopic illusion of its mystery, did not lessen its beauty. It was the dawn on Alpine pastures beyond the Rhine. What I had taken for the mountain tops was the profde of Liechtenstein shadowed on the eastern flank of Switzerland, miles away. The dark wisps were chalets and a hillside town. The weather gods, overlooking my impertinence, had accepted my challenge and achieved perfection. The cheery maid who brought chocolate and rolls had evidently sensed my eagerness to be afield, for never had breakfast appeared so promptly. Praising the weather, she pushed a cheap Spanish comb, de- signed for raven tresses, deeper into her blond hair. Although direct sunlight would not reach Vaduz for at least two hours, my neighbors were all abroad. The little blue-eyed friend who on my first day had thought it funny to drink from one of the brass wa- terspouts as I did, now jumped down from the stone fountain brim to enable me to moisten my throat be- fore my climb. «It's a wonderful day for photographs,» pro- claimed the town photographer, who practices other trades to earn a living, but envied me my camera. «No letter from your wife yet,» said the post-office girl, still a private Citizen, since it lacked hours of opening time, but answering the unspoken question of my glance. A climb of ten minutes brings one to the first plateau, with the old castle overhanging the town so steeply that from its drawbridge one cannot even see the main street because of the splendid beeches and oaks among which our zigzag path has led. Then one attains the carriage road to which this syl- van scramble is a short cut, and after one forest lacet leaves it behind to plunge still deeper into damp, cool shade. Once or twice on the way to the Wildschloss, whence one looks straight down on the radiant emerald which is a distant storage tank for an elec- tric plant, the trees give way to coarse mountain grass. The descending line of sunlight, creeping to- ward us from across the valley, has only just attained the Rhine and the air is still refreshingly cool. 220


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