By The Latvian Bank….
 

On Wednesday, 17 June, the Latvian Bank (Latvijas Banka) is issuing a new 5-euro silver collector coin, 500 Years of the Riga Castle. This is a dedication to the Riga Castle, with its silhouette on the right bank of the Daugava being a characteristic feature of the Riga skyline and a witness to the power or weakness of Latvia’s rulers for centuries.

latvia_sqr_1The graphic design of the coin’s obverse has been created by Ivars Drulle. Ilze Lībiete is the author of the graphic design on the reverse. The coin has been struck by the mint Faude & Huguenin SA in Switzerland. The coin’s obverse features the stone mouldings on the gateway of the Riga Convent showing the Madonna and Wolter von Plettenberg, the Master of the Livonian Order; the reverse depicts a bird’s-eye view of a stylised Riga Castle.

The year 1515 is the accepted date for the construction of the Riga Castle: it is this year that concludes the inscriptions under the stone figures of the Madonna and the Master of the Livonian Order Wolter von Plettenberg (1494–1535) above the Castle gate and is also mentioned in written documents about the construction costs. To comply with the provisions of the capitulation treaty after defeat near Bukulti in 1491 and to recognise the rule of both the Master of the Livonian Order and the Archbishop of Riga, citizens of Riga had to build a castle in place of the former residence of the Master of the Livonian Order, which they had torn down earlier.

The Castle has been the residence of different rulers through centuries. Its outlines and appearance has also changed over time.

latvia_sqr_2After the armistice of Strazdumuiža (3 July 1919), the Latvian flag flew for the first time from the tower of the Castle. The Prime Minister and the State Chancellery moved into the Castle, but in 1922 it became the residence of the President of Latvia. During the occupation period, some of the Castle space was turned over to the pioneer organisation. Since the summer of 1995, the Riga Castle has once again become the residence of the President.

An important symbol of Latvia, the Riga Castle is marking its 500th anniversary with a fresh coat of paint and a silver collector coin dedicated to it by Latvijas Banka.

The collector coin 500 Years of the Riga Castle is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia, with a maximum mintage limited to 7,000 coins.

As of 17 June, this coin will be on sale at Latvijas Banka Cashier’s Offices (K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga and Teātra iela 3 in Liepāja) and such traditional points of sale as banks and souvenir or jewellery shops. The price of the coin at Latvijas Banka Cashier’s Offices is 35.99 euro. The list of coins on sale at Latvijas Banka Cashier’s Offices is available here. It shows that a vast range of thematically and artistically diverse collector and commemorative coins are still available: among them are several collector coins denominated in lats; four of the silver euro collector coins issued in 2014; and also the coin dedicated to 150 years of firefighting in Latvia, issued first in 2015.
 

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