The history of the Castle of Eger reaches back to the days of King St. Stephen (975-1038), who established a diocese in Eger (in northern Hungary). The stone castle was built on the orders of the bishop of Eger following the Mongol invasion in 1241. As a part of a system of strongholds, the castle played a key role in the defense of Hungary.
Its most famous moment came during the siege of 1552, when commander István Dobó successfully led 2,000 defenders against an Ottoman army more than 30 times larger. It is famously celebrated by the 16th-century chronicler, lyricist, and epic poet, Sebestyén Tinódi Lantos, and is described in Géza Gárdonyi’s classic novel Eclipse of the Crescent Moon.
The Castle of Eger was divided by a wall into outer and inner castles. The latter was the oldest and most important part of the structure, with the city’s oldest building, the one-story Bishop’s Palace. The castle is also the site of a baptismal chapel dating from St. Stephen’s times and the ruins of a 12th-century Romanesque cathedral.
These 2018-dated 10,000-forint silver and 2,000-forint copper-nickel coins continue the Hungarian Mint’s ”Hungarian Castles” series, launched in 2004. The obverses feature a profile portrait of István Dobó in armor, with the legend DOBÓ ISTVÁN around the top. To the right of Dobó, there is a grape leaf, referring to his vineyards and Eger’s tradition of wine-making.
The south side of the castle, with the Hippolit Tower, the Gergely bastion, and part of the castle wall is on the reverse. It bears a quote from Gárdonyi’s novel A FALAK EREJE NEM A KŐBEN VAN, HANEM A VÉDŐK LELKÉBEN (“The strength of the walls is not the stone, but the spirit of the defenders”), referring to Dobó’s patriotic exhortation to embolden his soldiers prior to the siege. The coin was designed by the sculptor László Szunyogh.
The .925 silver 10,000-forint coin is minted in Proof quality and is limited to 7,000 coins. It weighs 31.46 grams and is 38.61 millimeters (1.5 inches) in diameter. It costs $68.75. The 2,000-forint is the same diameter and weighs 30.8 grams. The issue limit is 5,000 coins and comes at a cost of $19.95.
To order, or for more information on these coins and others from Hungary, contact the Hungarian Mint’s North American Representative at P.O. Box 399, Williston, VT 05495, call toll-free 1-800-421-1866, fax 802-536-4787, e-mail: , or click on the Hungarian flag at the Coin & Currency Institute’s website for secure ordering. Add $5.75 to each order for shipping and handling in the U.S.A. Shipping to other countries will be based on actual cost. Vermont residents add 6% sales tax. Those who desire to receive information and photographs electronically on a regular basis can provide their e-mail address to .
Press release courtesy of the Coin & Currency Institute.