A just-issued 2,000 forint legal tender coin is the first Hungarian coin ever issued with an antique bronze patinated finish. The coin, dedicated to the Somogyvár-Kupavár National Memorial is 37 mm (1½ inches) and 18.4 grams with a reeded edge. It is limited to an issue of 5,000 and sells for $22.95.
Somogyvár-Kupavár is a complex place of national remembrance in Hungarian history. It is primarily associated with the cult of St. László, but it also symbolizes the complex social relationships of the medieval period prior to the formation of the Hungarian state. Archaeological digs have found relics dating to the Bronze Age (ca. 3000-1000 BC) and the site was likely inhabited from this period onward. Its significance increased in 1091 when St. László of the Árpád dynasty, consecrated the church and monastery, which were probably built with the intent to be his final resting place. As a Benedictine monastery dedicated to St. Aegidius, it became an important church center in the 12th century. Somogyvár was later transformed into a fortified castle and the monastery, by then uninhabited, was abandoned. The settlement became the property of the Diocese of Kalocsa in 1677 and remained so until the mid-20th century. Archaeological digs started at the site in the late 19th century, but a full-scale excavation only began in 1972.
Unique in terms of size, the complex covered an area of seven acres and was constructed in Romanesque style, based on designs from Lombardy. Built in the style of a cathedral, the church has a floor space of 187 by 84 feet, with a two-towered facade, three naves and a semi-circular main altar. The courtyard of the monastery covers an area of almost 6,500 sq. feet, enclosed by a 82 by 77 foot arcade.
A museum has been at the site since 1983. In 2011, Hungary’s parliament declared the site a national memorial and it was officially inaugurated in 2013. It is one of thirteen national memorials dedicated to commemorating Hungary’s national identity and its intellectual, cultural and scientific achievements
Designed by Zoltán Tóth, the front of the coin depicts a griffin found during the archaeological digs, while the back presents the floor plan of the monastery, with an image of the reconstructed arcade in the background.
For more information visitwww.coin-currency.com and click on “Hungary.”
To order, contact the Hungarian Mint’s North American Representative at P.O. Box 399, Williston, VT 05495. Toll-free 1-800-421-1866. Fax 802-536-4787. Email:[email protected]. Secure ordering is available on the website. Add $5.75 to each order for shipping and handling in the U.S.A. Shipping to other countries will be based on actual cost. Vermont residents add 6% sales tax. Those desiring to receive information and photographs electronically on a regular basis can provide their email address to [email protected]