CASTLES OF THE WORLD - HIMEJIID92930063
€14.00 (Taxes not incl.)
The Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre presents a new series of collector coins dedicated to the "Castles of the World". It has been difficult to make the selection, taking into account that in Spain alone there are more than 10,000 castles registered, so we have had the collaboration of the Spanish Association of Friends of the Castles for an appropriate choice of castles to represent.
The collection is made up of sixteen coins, which can be purchased individually, as a complete collection and in sets of four coins each.
The obverse features a colourful reproduction of Himeji Castle, located in the Japanese town of the same name. Also known as the "White Heron Castle", it has been designated a National Treasure of Japan and a World Heritage Site. It is one of the 12 original castles remaining in Japan, making it a must-see for those interested in Japanese history.
On the reverse (common to all the coins), within a central circular area, the value of the coin 1.5 EURO appears; to its right, the mint mark; at the bottom, the legend CASTLES OF THE WORLD. An allegory of the structure of the castles surrounds the legends in the central area.
|Series||Castles Of The World|
|Face Value (Euro)||1.5|
|Maximum Mintage (units)||5,000|
In the Japanese coastal town of Himeji, visible from almost the entire town due to its location on Himeyama hill, rising in the middle of the town, stands the castle of the same name, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.
Its origins can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Its construction was ordered by Akamatsu Sadanori in 1346, although new buildings were subsequently added and others were modified by the various clans and feudal lords who ruled the region, until it achieved its present appearance as a group of more than 80 buildings, which make Himeji Castle a masterpiece of wooden architecture.
This is one of the few castles in Japan that has remained virtually intact since its inception, having been spared the frequent earthquakes that beset that part of the world and Second World War bombing raids, no doubt helped by the fact that the castle was darkened to prevent it from being spotted by enemy aircraft. Fortunately, an incendiary bomb that did fall on the main tower failed to explode.
It is easy to lose your way among the proliferation of walls and ramparts, gates, winding paths, passages and stairways on the grounds inside the castle complex, a complicated defensive design, labyrinthine at times, clearly devised with the intention of creating confusion for potential invaders. Interestingly, there are 997 sama, or loopholes, distributed throughout the outer and inner walls of the complex, made in different shapes (rectangular, square, triangular and round) so that different weapons could be introduced through them.
Himeji Castle is of the hirayamajiro type, meaning that it is built on a hill surrounded by a plain. Its keep, or tenshu – the best-known feature of the castle – has six storeys, one of which is a basement. All footwear must be removed before entering. Although originally built in 1580 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, it was dismantled and rebuilt shortly afterwards. Standing on Himeyama hill, 46 metres above sea level, the tower rises another 46 metres, bringing the castle’s total height to 92 metres above sea level, making it an extraordinary vantage point overlooking the city.
It is the most visited castle in Japan and one of the most beautiful after its recent six-year restoration. It is one of Japan’s Three Famous Castles, along with Matsumoto Castle and Kumamoto Castle, and is regularly featured in films and TV series set in Japan.
The bright, immaculate white walls, made of fireproof material, have led to the castle also being named White Heron Castle.