The Europa Star is a unique programme that brings together several European monetary institutes around a common theme. This year the fifth and last issue continues with the Gothic period as we go back through the Ages of Europe. Spain’s issue comprise two coins, one 8 reales made in gold and a 4 escudos made in silver, showing an image of Toledo’s Cathedral, a portrait of Maria de Molina, and a detail of one of the stained glass of Leon’s Cathedral. Both coins will be available in September.
Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is a Roman Catholic church in Toledo, a well known city located in the center of Spain. The cathedral of Toledo is one of the three 13th-century Gothic cathedrals in Spain and is considered to be the “Magnum Opus” (the masterpiece) of the Gothic style in Spain. It was begun in 1226 under the rule of Ferdinand III and the last Gothic contributions were made in the 15th century when, in 1493, the vaults of the central nave were finished during the time of the Catholic Monarchs.
Santa María de León Cathedral is one of the most relevant examples of the Gothic style in Spain. It is the best known for its stained glass windows.
With at least 1,764 square meters of surface, most of it containing the original windows, it is considered one of the most extensive and best preserved collections of medieval stained glass in Europe.
Maria de Molina
A woman of great importance in the Middle Ages. She was Queen Consort of Castile during the reign of her husband Sancho IV “El Bravo” (son of Alfonso X the Wise), as well as double regent with her son Fernando IV and her grandson Alfonso XI. That is to say, a woman who contributed to three different reigns throughout her life, and whose political performance was decisive for the continuation of the Castilian Crown and the consequent drift to the kingdom of Spain. She was more than a queen, mother or grandmother of kings, she was a woman with a great sense of state, who knew how to win the respect of her subjects and the consideration of the rest of the monarchies of the time.
For more information on the coins go to the Royal Spanish Mint’s website.
This video gives you an excellent idea of how impressive Toledo’s cathedral is in real life:
And to get some fundamental knowledge on what in this architecture is “Gothic” have a look at this short and really funny introduction to Gothic Architecture: