New Swiss commemorative coins: “Hornussen” and “2000 years of Aventicum”

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May 21, 2015 – The Federal Mint Swissmint launched the sale of two new 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”.

Swiss men playing “Hornussen”. Source: Wikipedia.

“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 are not successful, they get a point.
The current game probably originated in the Emmental (earliest mention 1625). In his novel “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.

Switzerland / 2015 / 20 Swiss Francs / Silver 0.835/ 20 g / 33 mm / Design: Roland Hirter, Bern / Mintage: 35,000 (uncirculated), 5,000 (Polished proof in presentation case).

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.

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 AD. The city was constructed at the start of the first century AD, shortly after the territory of the Helvetii was annexed to the Roman Empire. Soon after coming to power in the year 69 AD, the Roman Emperor Vespasian gave Aventicum the status of a colony.

Amphitheatre in Aventicum. “Avenches – arènes” by Ludovic Péron – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

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 AD; 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 AD, 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.

Switzerland / 2015 / 50 Swiss Francs / gold 0.900 / 11.29 g / 25 mm / Mintage: 5,000 (Polished proof in presentation case).

The 50-franc gold anniversary coin from Swissmint shows the most important find from Aventicum, the famous gold bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

To visit the website of the Swissmint please click here.

Additional information on the Swiss national sport “Hornussen” can be found on the website of the Federal Hornussen Association (in German).

For more information on Aventicum you may take a look here (in German or French) and here (in French).