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The Europe Taler

Background of the first Europe Taler: On the occasion of the European Championship of Football 2008 and the 500th anniversary of the first European emperor, Maximilian I, the Hall mint, in cooperation with the Austrian mint, is producing the largest silver taler in the world with 2008 dekagram, as soon as 2008 pieces of the European taler in a limited edition. It is a reproduction of the Emperor's taler of 1508 with the caption referring to Europe. The back refers to the European Championship of Football 2008 and the historical development of Europe. The design of the back side of the coin originates from the "ideasmith" of the Austrian mint under the direction of Thomas Pesendorfer, who is also considered to be the founder of the Vienna Philharmonic.

The design of the coin and the realization of the coin images originate from the medallion maker Herbert Wähner, who is also very well-known in expert circles. The packaging of the "silver giant" will be produced by the Hall master wood turner Werner Nuding from 500-year old wood from Castle Hasegg, which was unearthed during renovations in 2007.The internationally respected artist, Ernst Friedrich, who lives in Hall, and his wife Eleonor will create the packaging.

History of the Europe Taler

An emperor as the starting point: Exactly 500 years ago, in 1508, the Habsburger Maximilian I had himself proclaimed Emperor in Trent. He was unable to reach his actual destination of Rome, as the Venetians blocked his path. However, they were unable to prevent Maximilian from becoming the most powerful man in Europe. In order to enhance his new title, Maximilian, who had established a centre of power in Tyrol, ordered his mint in Hall to mint a propaganda taler celebrating himself as Emperor.

The minting of this, even for that time, exceptionally large silver taler (diameter of approx. 60 mm) served to spread Maximilian's fame throughout Europe. This also included the imagery of the taler, which on the front showed an equestrian Maximilian, and on the back numerous territorial emblems from his domain.

The caption reads: MAXIMILIANVS DEI GRA(tia) ROM(anorum) IMP(erator) SEMP(er) AVG(vstvs) ARCHIDVX AVSTRIE / PLVRIVMQ(ve) EVROPE PROVINCIAR(vm) REX ET PRINCEPS POTENTISIM(vs). Maximilian, by the grace of God Emperor of the Romans, expander of the empire at all times, Grand Duke of Austria, / King of many European countries and most powerful prince. This is the first time the word "Europe" was used on a coin.

Harmony of contrasts
Through action and interaction with the main object itself, the "presentation casket" should set accents as a storage and presentation object through the contrast of art and nature. Wood, as a living raw material, is highly suited to processing with contrasts. Made from wood from the Hasegg castle that is more than 500 years old, former "wooden beams" from the intermediate ceilings of historical rooms become presentation artworks.
The handling of the presentation caskets is carried out by the master wood turner Werner Nuding from Hall, who is also responsible for the reconstruction of the first and only cylindrical stamping press in the world.

Front side

The front side of the taler corresponds to that from the time of Maximilian in 1508. It shows the newly crowned emperor mounted in armour on a horse; in his hand he holds a banner with the imperial symbol, the double eagle.

Front side of the Europe taler
Front side of the Europe taler

Back side of the taler

The caption on the rear also corresponds to the historic taler, whereby the coin image has been renewed.

Back side of the Europe taler
Back side of the Europe taler

It shows important people in the history of Europe.

The starting point is provided by Martin Luther, who symbolised the transition from the middle ages to the modern period with his nailing of the theses and his translation of the bible in the 16th century. The subsequent reformation and counter-reformation has affected the religious and spiritual landscape of Europe to the present day.

The work of Antonio Vivaldi presents an example of the importance of European cultural life. The red-haired priest from Venice is among the greatest composers of the 17th century.

Enduring changes resulted in the industrialization of Europe, which took place in the age of the Enlightenment as a result of great technical innovations. Of particular importance among these inventions was the construction of the first steam engine in the 18th century by James Watt.

Among the great changes in Europe were also the constant attempts to civilize the numerous wars on the continent and to replace them with a pacifist policy. Although this objective was still a long way from being achieved, the peace prize winner Bertha von Suttner is among the first exponents of this development in the 19th century.

However, enduring peace and economic progress were only possible in Europe in the second half of the 20th century following ´the catastrophes of two world wars. The process of European unity thereby proved to be one of the most effective means for securing long term peace.

The scenes are connected by the mint tower, the symbol of the Hall Mint, which at the same time represents a perspective into the future: stars, a symbol of European unity, surround the tower and symbolize the transition into the European future of the 21st century.

Numismatic Data

Issue: 2008 units
Fineness: Ag 999
Coin design: RV Herbert Wähner / MÖ
Weight: 120 grams
Diameter: 60 mm
Quality: patinated and enamelled

Contact

Hall AG / Münze Hall / Tourismusverband Region Hall-Wattens
Burg Hasegg 6
A-6060 Hall i.T.
Tel.: +43 (0)5223 5855-165, Fax: -166