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200th anniversary of the birth of Janko Matúška

€10 silver collector coin

The obverse side of the coin
The reverse side of the coin

Janko Matúška (10 January 1821 – 11 January 1877) was a poet belonging to the new generation of Slovak intelligentsia around Ľudovít Štúr (the ‘Štúrovci’). He was born into a landowning family in Orava, a region in the north of what is now Slovakia. During his studies at the Lutheran Lyceum in Pressburg (now Bratislava), he supported the activities of Štúr’s group. He wrote poems, but was also attracted by historical topics, ballads, verse legends, and drama. He is famous for writing the lyrics of a song that became the Slovak national anthem in the 20th century. He wrote them out of indignation at the dismissal of Ľudovít Štúr from a teaching position at the Lyceum. After his studies, he worked as a civil servant in his native Orava. From 1851 to 1870 he worked in government offices, before becoming Clerk of the County Court in Dolný Kubín. Matúška was a local organiser of the 1848/49 Revolution, and in 1849 he had to hide in the mountains, where he fell ill. In later life he was forced to retire because of health problems, suffering from them until his death. His literary works, although modest in number, are among the gems of Slovak romantic literature.

  • Description of the coin

    The collector coin’s obverse features a framed image of Orava Castle, symbolising the home region of Janko Matúška. Within that frame, the Slovak coat of arms appears above the castle, and to the right of the frame, inscribed in facsimile, is a four-line extract from the original handwritten lyrics of what became the Slovak national anthem. Along the bottom edge of the design is the name of the issuing country ‘SLOVENSKO’, and between it and the frame is the year of issuance ‘2021’. The mint mark of the Kremnica Mint (Mincovňa Kremnica), consisting of the letters ‘MK’ placed between two dies, is on the left side of the design.

    The reverse shows a framed portrait of Janko Matúška with the poet’s facsimile signature inscribed along the frame’s left edge. The coin’s denomination and currency ‘10 EURO’ is situated below the portrait. Along the upper left edge of the design is the name ‘JANKO MATÚŠKA’, and along the lower left edge, separated from the name by a dot and running in the opposite direction, are the years of Matúška’s birth and death ‘1821 – 1877’. To the right of the frame are the stylised letters ‘PV’ referring to the coin’s designer Peter Valach.

  • Coin details
    Designer:Peter Valach
    Composition:.900 silver, .100 copper
    Weight:18 g
    Diameter:34 mm
    (Author of the Slovak national anthem‘s lyrics)
    Producer:Kremnica Mint
    Engraver:Dalibor Schmidt
    Issuing volume:2,800 coins in brilliant uncirculated quality
    6,250 coins in proof quality
    Issuing date:19 January 2021