King St. Stephen (975-1038) had established a parish in Eger, Hungary. The bishop of Eger wanted to build a stone castle after Mongol invaded the territory in 1241. Over the years, the Castle of Eger has played a vital role in defending the territory. During the siege of 1552, an army of 2,000 men, led by Commander Istvan Dobo, fought against the Ottoman army which was 30 times larger. The victory is celebrated in various old chronicles and novels.
A wall divided the outer and inner castles. The inner castle contained the Bishop’s Palace which is the oldest building in the city. It also contained the baptismal chapel which was constructed during St. Stephen’s reign. Ruins of the 12th-century Romanesque cathedral are also present here.
The silver coin has a face value of 10,000 forint silver while the copper-nickel version has a face value of 2,000 forint. Both these coins are a part of Hungarian Mint’s “Hungarian Castles” series which was introduced in 2004. The obverse features a portrait of Istvan Dobo in armor along with the inscription DOBO ISTVAN. A grape leaf is also featured which indicates the famous vineyards and Eger’s tradition of wine-making.
The reverse features the Hippolit Tower, the Gergely bastion and a portion of the castle wall. A Hungarian excerpt from Gardonyi’s novel translating to “The strength of the walls is not the stone, but the spirit of the defenders” is also featured. This line refers to the writers take on how Dobo might have encouraged his men before the epic battle.
The 31.46 grams, .925 silver 10,000 forint Proof Coin has a mintage limit of 7,000 pieces and can be purchased for $68.75. The 30.8 grams 2,000 forint copper-nickel version has a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces and can be bought for $19.95.
Image Courtesy: Hungarian Mint