The Bank of Latvia (Latvijas Banka) has announced that they will be issuing new silver collector coins on the 22nd June which are dedicated to a new project undertaken in the country that is a wider monument to all Latvians and their collective strength — The Garden of Destiny.
The idea of The Garden of Destiny came as a response to a heartfelt desire of the Latvian people to create a national memorial site in honour of the 600,000 people in Latvia who suffered and perished during totalitarian regimes during the 20th century. On the 7th June 2005, a group of motivators assembled to establish a foundation to pursue further initiatives to this end. The Koknese Foundation decided to create a memorial site symbolising the nation’s grief for the victims, commemorating their lives and resilience, but also inspiring us all for the future. Vilis and Marta Vītols donated 640,000 euros, thus forming the initial capital of the foundation. Since its launching, 2.5 million euros have been invested into the project.
The Garden of Destiny is emerging on an island in the Daugava River near Koknese. This picturesque area is a crossroads of the cultural and historical diversity of the peoples of Zemgale, Sēlija, and Vidzeme, where threads and vibes of Latvia’s history and mythology intersect. The designer of the Garden of Destiny concept and the winner of the international competition is Shunmyo Masuno, a Japanese landscape architect. The landscape envisaged by him gradually transforms the visitors’ grief and sorrow into a reflective healing of the soul, encouraging people to readily meet and embrace the promise of the future, embodied by timeless light, wind, water, and earth. Masuno’s concept is brought to life thanks to the efforts of the Koknese Foundation.
The island, steeped in historic significance for Latvia, is marked by a section of the ancient Riga-Moscow road that became scarred by the dugouts of World War I. The remains of the medieval Koknese Castle, once built by the German knights, emerges over the river and the medieval trade route.
The observation terrace and amphitheatre have now been completed and are surrounded by 40 oak trees and a canal. The site can be reached by a cobblestone avenue, and on both sides of the avenue there are apple trees and 2,600 other trees donated by the Latvijas valsts meži and the Latvian Plant Growers Association. Since the concept and idea were first proposed, tens of thousands have engaged in creating the Garden of Destiny by donating funds or simply lending a hand. The number of project supporters now exceeds over 500,000 and visitors from at least 54 countries have come to the site. The Garden of Destiny is being nurtured as the nation’s present to itself on its centenary anniversary as an independent state, which is celebrated this year. The Freedom Monument is Latvia’s legacy from the generations of the previous century. It is hoped the Garden of Destiny will be Latvia’s legacy for future generations.
The coins are produced by the Royal Dutch Mint at their facilities in Utrecht on behalf of the Bank of Latvia. The graphic design of the collector coin “Likteņdārzs” was created by artist Frančeska Kirke, and the creator of the plaster model was Ligita Franckeviča. The obverse of the coin’s design is inspired by the amphitheatre of the Garden of Destiny — which is a primary focal point of the project and is enclosed by the Daugava waters. The design is highlighted with colour printing emphasising the blue of the water and the green of the actual garden. The inscription LIKTENDARZS (The Garden of Destiny), and the year of issue, are placed just below and to the right of the primary design along the edge. The denomination is seen above and to the upper right along the edge.
The reverse reflects human faces with an array of their stylised representations spaced around the overall surface, somewhat resembling the leaves on a tree, emphasising the greenery and array of trees in the garden. The text LATVIJA is placed below the primary design.
|€5||.925 Silver||31.4 g||38.6 mm||Proof with applied colour||3,000|
The coin is encapsulated and presented in a custom-produced case branded with the Bank of Latvia insignia and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Please note, the new coin will be on sale starting the 22nd June at the Latvijas Banka Cashier’s Offices. On the 22, 23, and 24 June it will be available online for purchases of collector coins and other numismatic products. The website offers a wide selection of collector coins and other numismatic products issued by the Latvijas Banka. Their site can be used by both individuals as well as Latvia’s businesses. On the 22nd June, the collector coin will be available for sale at the Garden of Destiny’s souvenir shop.