Vorarlberg is Austria’s westernmost state and the second smallest in terms of physical size and overall population. The picturesque region has many mountain ranges, and several rivers run through Vorarlberg–including the famous Rhine.
Human settlement in the area dates back to at least 1500 BC, with the Celtics dominating the region until the Romans conquered the region around 15 BCE. Alemannic Germans wrested control of the land around 450 CE. Later, the Bavarians took over the region, with a series of counts and prince-bishops governing sections of the area until as late as World War I. In 1919, more than 80 percent of voters supported a referendum to join the Swiss Confederation, but the Austrian government, among many other authorities and agencies, opposed the measure.
Vorarlberg’s historic capital city of Bregenz sits near Lake Constance, one of Central Europe’s largest lakes and a natural landmark that was designated as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Each of the coins in the Austria by its Children: Piece by Piece coin series is designed in part by Austrian schoolchildren whose designs were selected in a competition. The Vorarlberg coin is the fourth in the series, which commemorates Austria’s nine government regions; the 10th coin will pay tribute to the entire nation of Austria as a whole.
The obverse of the Vorarlberg coin was designed and engraved by Austrian Mint chief engraver Thomas Pesendorfer, who showcases a woman wearing a traditional Lake Constance Radhaube gold lamé lace bonnet. The wheel-shaped bonnets, which are made with special hand-sewn techniques that have been passed down through the generations, can take as long as 300 hours to make and are recognized as culturally important by UNESCO. The woman on the obverse, wearing a traditional tracht dress, appears before the UNESCO-designated Lake Constance.
A boat floats in the middle of the lake toward the center-right of the coin, and in the background beside a mountain range is Seekapelle (Lake Chapel), a baroque-era church in Bregenz with a distinctive onion-shaped dome
On the upper-right of the coin, along the obverse rim between the 12 o’clock and four o’clock positions is the inscription REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH (translates to “Austria”). The words BODENSEE-RADHAUBE, referring to the local name for the Lake Constance bonnet, appear along the right rim from the six o’ clock to the nine o’clock position. The coin’s denomination and date of issue, 10 EURO and 2013, appear in three lines of text below the ship in Lake Constance and to the right of the woman wearing the bonnet.
The reverse of the Vorarlberg 10-euro coin was designed by nine-year-old Alissa De Mori, an Austrian schoolgirl from Hoerbranz whose whimsical depiction of Vorarlberg and Lake Constance won the competition for her state. The province’s agricultural roots figure prominently in Mori’s design, as adapted and engraved by Pesendorfer. Among the features in the foreground is a meadow near Lake Constance. In the field, a grazing cow looks directly at the viewer; meanwhile a side profile of a farm tractor appears to be facing the enchanting bovine.
In the mid-ground, boats are seen floating in Lake Constance and on the center-right a cable car gondola glides between two lattice-work suspension towers. Conifer-studded hills and Seekapelle church, again with its baroque-style onion dome, tower in the background. The words VORARLBERG s’ LÄNDLE (roughly translated as “the state of Vorarlberg”) are inscribed along the top segment of the rim between the 10 o’ clock and 2 o’ clock positions.
Vorarlberg 10-euro coin in copper.
Designer(s): Thomas Pesendorfer is the Chief Engraver of the Austrian Mint. His award-winning design for the Vienna Philharmonic bullion coin is known all over the world (View Designer’s Profile). Pesendorfer studied at the Fachschule für Metalldesign in Steyr, Austria.
|Year Of Issue:||2013|
|Mintage:||Silver: 40,000 (Special Unc.), 30,000 (Proof); Copper: 130,000 (Unc.)|
|Alloy:||.925 Silver; .999 Copper|
|Weight:||Silver: 17.3 g; Copper: 15 g|
|Edge:||Silver: Smooth; Copper: Rilled|
|OBV Designer||Thomas Pesendorfer|
|REV Designer||Alissa De Mori / Thomas Pesendorfer|
|Quality:||Silver: Special Uncirculated, Proof; Copper: Uncirculated|
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