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Hungary 2,000 forint 2014. Somogyvár-Kupavár National Memorial. Antique Bronze
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SOMOGYVÁR-KUPAVÁR NATIONAL MEMORIAL

This 2000 forint legal tender coin is the first forint collector coin ever to be issued with an antique bronze patinated finish.

Somogyvár-Kupavár is a complex place of national remembrance for Hungarian history. It is primarily associated with the cult of St. László and the memory of the knight king, but it also symbolises the complex social relationships of the mediaeval period, prior to the formation of the Hungarian state.

According to legend, the castle of Chief Koppány, who rebelled against King St. Stephan, stood on the hill of Kupavár and he probably launched his siege of Veszprém in 997 from this fortress. Archaeological digs have also found relics from the Bronze Age and the site was likely inhabited from this period onwards. Its significance increased further in 1091, when St. László of the Árpád dynasty, consecrated the church and monastery, which were probably built as his final resting place and were donated by the Benedictine monastery of St. Gilles du Gard in France. The Benedictine monastery dedicated to St. Aegidius became an important church centre in the 12th century. Unique in terms of size, the complex covered an area of 2.5-3 hectares and was built in Romanesque style, based on designs from Lombardy. Built in the style of a cathedral, the church has a floor space of 57 m by 25.5 m , with a two-towered façade, three naves and a semi-circular main altar.

The courtyard of the monastery covers an area of almost 600 m2, enclosed by a 25 m by 23.5 m arcade. It is conjectured that after his death in 1095 St. László was first buried at this church, after which his remains were moved to the church of the Blessed Mary in Nagyvárad (present-day Oradea in Romania).

After the defeat at Mohács, Somogyvár was transformed into a fortified castle and the uninhabited monastery 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 started in 1972 under the direction of Kornél Bakay.

A museum has been functioning at the site since 1983. In 2011, Hungary's parliament declared the site a National Memorial and it was officially inaugurated in 2013. Somogyvár-Kupavár is one of 13 national memorials dedicated to commemorating Hungary's national identity and its intellectual, cultural and scientific achievements.

Furthering this spread of cultural knowledge and honouring this National Memorial, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank is issuing a collector coin, 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.

Face value: 2000 HUF

Metal: Cu90Zn10

Weight: 18.4 g

Diameter: 37 mm

Mintage: 5,000 pcs

Quality: patinated

Designer: Zoltán Tóth


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