By The Federal Mint Swissmint….
On 7 May 2015, the Federal Mint Swissmint is launching the sale of two new Swiss commemorative coins for collectors and enthusiasts. The silver coin is dedicated to the Swiss national sport “Hornussen”, while the central theme of the gold coin is “2000 years of Aventicum”.
“Hornussen” is considered to be one of the three traditional Swiss national sports. In today’s game, the player hits the “Hornuss”, or puck, with an elastic stick made from carbon fibre off the bock towards the “Ries”, or opponent’s field. The opposing team, or “Abtuer”, located there tries to stop the puck or “Hornuss” in flight by hitting it as soon as possible in the air with a shingle before the puck falls on the ground. If they’re not successful, they get a point.
The current game probably originated in the Emmental [region of Switzerland] (earliest mention 1625). In his tale “Uli der Knecht”, Jeremias Gotthelf described “Hornussen” in great detail and its significance for rural life. The Federal Hornussen Association was founded in Burgdorf in 1902.
Swissmint is honouring this ancient Swiss sport with the last coin in the “Swiss nation sports” series. The “Hornussen” coin was designed by the Bernese graphic artist Roland Hirter. Additional information on the Federal Hornussen Association can be found at www.ehv.ch.
Aventicum, the capital city of the Helvetii, whose territory once stretched over nearly all of the Swiss Plateau region, had almost 20,000 inhabitants in the third century CE. The city was constructed at the start of the first century CE, shortly after the territory of the Helvetii was annexed by the Roman Empire. Soon after coming to power in the year 69 AD, the Roman Emperor Vespasian gave Aventicum the status of a colony.
After the building of the city walls, which were later to have been 5.5 km long, the city experienced spectacular growth in the second century CE; increasing numbers of public buildings were erected: thermal baths, temples, a theatre and an amphitheatre.
The slow decline of Aventicum began in the middle of the third century CE, following a period of political instability and repeated invasions by “barbarians”. Nevertheless, Aventicum was still so significant that it was chosen as the bishop’s see in the sixth century, before this was later transferred to Lausanne.
The site in modern-day Avenches is one of the most important archaeological excavation sites in Switzerland and is considered internationally to be a gem of the Roman era. The 50-franc gold Swiss commemorative coin from Swissmint shows the most important find from Aventicum, the famous gold bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Additional information on Aventicum can be found at www.aventicum.org and that on the anniversary festivities is available at www.aventicum2015.ch.
The new commemorative coins will be available as limited editions from coin dealers, banks and at www.swissmintshop.ch from 7 May 2015.