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In Slovakia, a double cross on the back of the 2-euro coin

The euro has been in use since 2009 in Slovakia. The small Central European country didn't hesitate to pay tribute to the three great saints it has honored for centuries: Sts. Benedict, Cyril and Methodius. The trio is symbolized by a double-branched cross resting on the three highest peaks in the country, the mountains named Tatra, Fatras and Mátra. This cross, which is also found on the national flag, is of Byzantine origin.

Sts. Cyril and Methodius on a Slovak limited-edition coin

In 2013, the faces of the patron saints of Europe were struck by Slovakia on 1 million 2-euro coins. St. Cyril and St. Methodius are not only co-patrons of Europe, but they are also the two most important saints of Slovakia. Cyril and Methodius were sent to Central Europe to evangelize the Slav peoples. These coins were the subject of controversy: the European Commission asked that the halos be removed, as they were "likely to cause adverse reactions," but in the end the Slovak central bank decided to keep them.

In Malta, the Maltese cross on 2-euro coins

The 2-euro Maltese coin is struck with an eight-pointed cross. It's commonly called the Maltese Cross or the St. John Cross. It's the heritage of the Order of Hospitalers of St. John of Jerusalem. The eight points symbolize the eight Beatitudes that we must always have in our hearts.

In Latvia, "God bless Latvia" on the edge of 2-euro coins

"Dievs sveti Latviju," "God bless Latvia, our beloved homeland ..." These are the first words of the Latvian national anthem, which the small state has decided to engrave on the edge of all its 2-euro coins.


In the Netherlands, "God is with us" on the edge of the 2-euro coins

"God Zit Met Ons": "God is with us." No, it is not the national motto of the Netherlands, but a reference to their old currency: the florin. Created in Italy, the florin quickly conquered Europe, especially the Netherlands, which adopted it as a monetary unit in 1816. Between 1876 and 1889 almost 4 million florins were struck with the portrait of King William II surrounded by this phrase "God Zit Met Ons," "God is with us."


In Austria, St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna on 10-cent coins

St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna has been engraved on a billion 10-cent coins. Gothic in style, the building is characterized by its roof, covered in glazed tiles arranged in diagonal linear patterns. On the roof of the eastern part, one can see a gigantic two-headed eagle, the emblem of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In Spain, the Church of Santiago of Compostela on 5-cent coins

Santiago of Compostela is the oldest European pilgrimage destination, the millennial path of Europe. The church of Santiago de Compostela was struck on no less than 4 billion 5-cent coins. It's dedicated to the Apostle James the Greater, son of Zebedee, patron saint of Spain. Legend has it that after his beheading, his followers took away his body and launched it on a ship that eventually landed in Galicia, near the site where the Church of St. James was built.

In Portugal, a cross on 5-cent coins

Portugal decided to engrave the seal of King Alfonso I on its coins. On the 5-cent coin, the image is composed of a cross and the word "Portugal." It is surrounded at the top by seven castles, and at the bottom by five escutcheons each containing 5 circles.

In Germany, the St. Michael's Church in Hamburg on 2-euro coins

In 2008, the Church of St. Michael in Hamburg was engraved on 30 million 2-euro coins. It’s one of the most famous churches in the city. It was built in honor of St. Michael the Archangel, represented on the door of the building slaying the Devil.

In Spain, the cathedral of Burgos on 2-euro coins

In 2012, one of the most beautiful cathedrals of Spain was struck on 8 million 2-euro coins. The cathedral has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1984 and is considered one of the most beautiful works of Gothic art.


In Germany, the monastery of Maulbronn on 2-euro coins

In 2013, the monastery was engraved on 30 million 2-euro coins. Located in Baden Württemberg, Maulbronn Monastery is the most complete and best preserved monastery complex north of the Alps. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.

In France, Abbé Pierre on 2-euro coin

In 2012, on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Abbé Pierre, France published a million 2-euro coins bearing the effigy of the founder of the Emmaus movement.

In Monaco, Friars Minor on the 5-cent coin

The principality has engraved its coat of arms on the 5-cent coins. The coat of arms is held by two bearded Franciscans (Friars Minor), each carrying a raised sword. The coat of arms symbolizes the conquest of Monaco in 1297 by François Grimaldi and his companions disguised as monks. The motto of Monaco is that of the Grimaldi family: "Deo Juvante," "With the help of God."


In the state of San Marino, the portrait of St. Marinus of Rimini on the 20-cent coins

The coin shows a portrait of San Marino, based on a painting by Guercino (17th century). At the time of the persecutions ordered by the emperor Diocletian, Marino, attracted to Mount Titano, which he saw from Rimini, took refuge on the summit to become a hermit. The mountain was offered to him by a princess whose children he had healed. He is considered the founder of the micro state of San Marino.
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