CASTLES OF THE WORLD - PALACE OF OLITEID92930060
€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 shows a colour reproduction of the Royal Palace of Olite, which is located in the Autonomous Community of Navarre. It is a courtly and military building erected during the 13th and 14th centuries in the town of Olite. It was one of the seats of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre from the reign of Charles III "the Noble".
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|
Royal Palace of Olite
In the early 15th century, King Charles III of Navarre, called the Noble, ordered the building of the Royal Palace of Olite on the site of an older fortress that the Visigothic King Suintila was said to have built in Ologito (Olite) in the seventh century, in turn, over an earlier Roman fortress.
The fortified palace, a unique example of a combination of the French Gothic style with Mudéjar and Aragonese Gothic, comprises a series of different buildings and structures (towers, cellars, gardens, chapels, courtyards, stables, churches, birdhouses, terraces, ice houses...), laid out like a jigsaw puzzle, giving the extensive complex a totally irregular and complex floor plan.
Those were prosperous years for Olite, which continued throughout the 15th century, particularly under the influence of Charles III’s grandson, the Prince of Viana, who assembled an elegant court within its sturdy walls and high ceilings, and endowed the palace with numerous spaces, wings of different types and exquisite ornaments in the style of French castles, as well as a zoo with such exotic species such as lions, camels, giraffes, parrots and buffaloes, among others, which fully satisfied his interest in zoology. According to a tradition that is perhaps a little exaggerated, the palace of Olite had as many rooms as there are days in the year.
The oldest part, the so-called Old Castle - which has housed a parador, a state-owned luxury hotel, since 1960 – is laid out with a square floor plan around a courtyard and has three towers (known as the Prison Tower, Chapel Tower and Stork Tower). The central part of the palace complex features several towers: the Cistern Tower, the Tower of the Three Crowns and the keep, among others, which enclose a kitchen garden and ornamental garden. And a last volume, the Tower of the Four Winds with the arbour, watchtower and turret.
This period of splendour is expressed in the diary account of a journey made by a German traveller in the mid-15th century, where the following description of the castle of Olite can be read: “...Surely there is no king with a more beautiful castle or palace and with so many gilded rooms ... it could not say or even could imagine how magnificent and sumptuous is this palace...”
After the annexation of Navarre into the crown of Castile in 1512, Olite ceased to be a royal court and residence, which caused the palace to enter into a period of decline, a situation that did not improve in the following centuries. In the 19th century, with the French invasion, it experienced its darkest period in terms of ruin, destruction, looting and vandalism. Lead spires were melted down to make bullets; cartloads of stone left the palace daily, destined for private building works.
With the acquisition of the complex in 1913 by the regional government of Navarre, a period began in which this fortified palace was brought back to life, and it was declared a National Monument shortly afterwards by order of King Alfonso XIII in 1925. An extraordinary work of reconstruction, carried out by professionals in every field, allowed the castle founded by Charles III, the Noble, in the opinion of Sarthou Carreres, to become one of the most remarkable castles in Europe, a splendid example of the civic and military architecture of the Middle Ages.