To celebrate the Winter Games, the Austrian Mint in Vienna has issued two silver 5 Euro coins. Each displays a winter discipline in which Austria is a world-leading performer.
Austrian 5 Euro Snow-Boarding and Ski-Jumping 2010 Winter Games Silver Coins
(Click coins image to enlarge)
The first has as its theme ski jumping. One sees the helmeted ski-jumper captured in his flight from the end of the steep ramp against a background of trees in an alpine forest. The second design shows a female snow-boarder as she performs a hair-raising air trick, flipping her snowboard up over the rim of the half-pipe in which they perform.
Within its theme of "Austria and its People" the Vienna Mint begins a new sub-series of six silver 10 Euro coins called: Tales and Legends in Austria. The first coin is dedicated to a mediaeval legend from Vienna – the Basilisk. It will be issued on Wednesday, 15th April.
The story goes that in the year 1212 a baker's boy in a shop in the Schönlaterngasse (Lovely Lantern Lane) No. 7 discovered a horrible monster at the bottom of a well. The stench and poisonous fumes of the creature killed all those who inhaled them.
The monster was identified as a basilisk, a mutant creature part snake, part toad, part cockerel. To look into its eyes was instant death. A counsellor learned in such matters was fetched to help and to advise. He said that the only way to destroy the monster was to confront it with its own horrid appearance. Someone must go down into the well with a mirror.