Artstetten Castle traces its origins back to the 13th century. Over the years, numerous families have resided at the estate, renovating the castle to suit the times and their tastes. In 1823, the castle was acquired by Austrian Emperor Franz I. His influence can be seen in the configuration of the residence’s chestnut trees.
Two of Artstetten’s most famous and tragic occupants were the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, the Duchess von Hohenberg. [They raised three children at the estate; a fourth arrived stillborn in 1908. In 1910, Ferdinand ordered the construction of a family crypt underneath the castle church.]
On June 28, 1914, Serbian separatists carried out a conspiracy to assassinate the Archduke and Duchess as they visited Sarajevo. After a series of missteps, 20-year-old Gavrilo Princip fired two shots into the back seat of Ferdinand’s car, striking him in the neck and hitting the Duchess in her abdomen.
The shots proved fatal, and ultimately set in play a series of events that thrust the entire European continent into war.
The 2004 Artstetten Castle 10 euro silver coin commemorates the beauty of the historic Austrian landmark and also commemorates the memory of the Archduke and Duchess. The coin is the sixth and final design in the Austrian Mint’s Castles of Austria commemorative coin program.
Designer: Thomas Pesendorfer
A view of the façade of Castle Artstetten as seen from the grounds; various shrubs and the property’s curving driveway are depicted in the foreground. Wrapping around the top of the coin, canted to the right is the inscription REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH. Beneath and centered left is the inscription SCHLOSS ARTSTETTEN. In the exergue, the denomination 10 EURO and the year 2004. The designer’s initials “TP” are located on the driveway at the bottom of the stairway.
Designer: Herbert Wähner
A scene at the entrance gate of the Hohenberg Crypt at Arstetten Castle. Two portraits of right-facing Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg are offset to the bottom left of the design, encircled in cameo. The two Austrian nobles were interned in the crypt after they were assassinated on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo. The artist’s signature “H. WÄHNER” appears beneath the right column of the gate. Wrapping around the top of the coin are the inscriptions ERZHERZOG FRANZ FERDINAND and HERZOGIN SOPHIE v. HOHENBERG.