Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein

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 of any monarch in European history, after that of Louis XIV of France, and third-longest overall after Louis XIV and Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.

Johann II
Johann II v Liechtenstein.jpg
1908 painting of Johann II of Liechtenstein
Prince of Liechtenstein
Reign12 November 1858 – 11 February 1929
PredecessorAloys II
SuccessorFranz I
Born(1840-10-05)5 October 1840
Eisgrub, Margraviate of Moravia, Austrian Empire
Died11 February 1929(1929-02-11) (aged 88)
Valtice, First Czechoslovak Republic
Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Vranov
Johann Maria Franz Placidus
FatherAloys II, Prince of Liechtenstein
MotherCountess Franziska Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau

Early lifeEdit

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 (that is, a regent of a minority regency) was never employed;[1] his mother did act as his regent from 10 February 1859 to November 1860,[2][3] but she was not the head of a minor regency, but appointed by her son to fulfill his duties because he wished to finish his education before beginning his rule.

Rama IX of Thailand exceeded this reign by just 35 days.

Law and reformEdit

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 affairsEdit

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.[4]

Patron of the artsEdit

Johann II added much to the Liechtenstein Princely Collections. Although considered a prominent patron of the arts and sciences during his long reign,[5] 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.[6]

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.

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




  1. ^ – Liechtenstein Retrieved 16 December 2007
  2. ^ Peter Geiger: Geschichte des Fürstentums Liechtenstein 1848 bis 1866. In: Jahrbuch des Historischen Vereins für das Fürstentum Liechtenstein. Band 70. Vaduz 1970, S. 242 ff.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Yellow Pages of Liechtenstein Archived 6 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 16 December 2007
  5. ^ Portal of the Principality of Liechtenstein – Princely House – Prince Johann II Retrieved 16 December 2007
  6. ^ Prince Johann II Retrieved 16 December 2007
  7. ^ Staat Hannover (1865). Hof- und Staatshandbuch für das Königreich Hannover: 1865. Berenberg. p. 79.
  8. ^ Boettger, T. F. "Chevaliers de la Toisón d'Or – Knights of the Golden Fleece". La Confrérie Amicale. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  9. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Bayern (1908), "Königliche Orden" p. 7
  11. ^ Justus Perthes, Almanach de Gotha (1922) p. 55

External linksEdit

Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein
Born: 5 October 1840 Died: 11 February 1929
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Aloys II
Prince of Liechtenstein
Succeeded by
Franz I