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This heading presents the features of the euro banknotes and coins.

Design of the euro banknotes

The architectural themes

The main theme of the euro banknotes is formed by the different architectural styles prevailing in Europe and depicted through bridges and gates. The gates as well as the bridges shown on the back of the banknotes form simplified representations of the architectural style of the time period dedicated by each banknote. The representations do not depict existing construction works.

Through out the architectural theme different construction techniques used on the European continent are illustrated. Each denomination represents an architectural period :

EUR 5: the classic period

EUR 10: the roman period

EUR 20: the gothic period

EUR 50: the period of the Renaissance

EUR 100: the baroque and rococo period,

EUR 200: the architecture of the XIXth century “glass and iron"?,

EUR 500: the modern period.

The gates depicted on the backside of the banknotes symbolize the open minded spirit of Europe towards the world et the European cooperation. They form the main architectural element of each denomination. The architectural element of each denomination is taken back for the watermark. The architectural element is always printed in intaglio (raised printing), which can be perceived when feeling the printing.

The twelve stars of the European Union represent the dynamism and the harmony of Europe.

By overcoming natural obstacles the bridges on the backside of the banknotes represent the relations between people. They symbolize the cooperation and the close communication between European people as well as between Europe and the rest of the world.

The European flag and the map of Europe

The front side of each denomination includes the European flag. Under UV light the flag changes colours from blue to green and the stars from yellow to orange. The stars of the flag are picked up again in the centre of the front side of each banknote. These stars react also under UV light.

The back of each banknote shows under the representation of the bridge the map of Europe. This geographic is built up from several satellite pictures set side by side and taken at different moments in order to obtain a European continent without any clouds. This maop is not a political one but spreads beyond the borders of the European Union: from the Artic circle to North Africa and from the Atlantic to the Ukraine.

The initials of the ECB, the signature of the President and the name EURO

On the front of the banknotes the five initials of the European Central Bank are depicted followed by the copyright symbol. These five initials represent the eleven official languages of the European Union. Above the signature of President of the ECB, Wim Duisenberg or Jean-Claude Trichet, the year of issue of the euro banknotes, 2002, is mentioned.

The name of the European currency “Euro�? together with its translation into Greek alphabet is depicted on both sides of the banknotes. By the way, the “€�? symbol is only shown on the banknotes in the holographic patch or stripe and in the iridescent band.

The features dedicated to the partially sighted persons

The European blind union has been involved from the very beginning of the design work of the euro banknotes in such a way that the euro banknotes meet best the needs of people affected by visual deficiency.

The face value of each banknote is depicted above the architectural motif in bold numerals on the front side of each banknote. The face value is picked up in the bottom left corner of the front side. Finally the face value is repeated in the four corners of the back side of the banknotes.

Besides the increasing size, the euro banknotes are defined by easily distinguishable colours. The 200 et 500 euro banknotes, which have the same height as that of the euro 100, bear tactile marks. For the euro 200 banknote vertical marks have been incorporated to the design of the front. The 500 euro banknote bears diagonal marks at the right edge of the front side of banknote.

To know more about euro banknotes

Pictures of the euro banknotes  

Technical specifications

Design of the euro coins

The themes

The common sides have been designed by Luc Luyx from the Royal Belgian Mint. Three different maps of the European Union are shown. The map depicted on the 1, 2 and 5 cent coins symbolizes the position of Europe in the world. That of the 10, 20 et 50 cent coins symbolize the European Union as a group of different nations. On the 1and 2 euro coins the 15 Member States are represented as a whole.

Each Members States has worked out the national side of its euro coins by using national and traditional design elements.

The features for partially sighted people

The different colours, dimensions and groves of the euro coins are an essential feature allowing the recognition by partially sighted people.

To know more about euro coins:

Detailed description of the national sides of the coins  

Pictures of Luxembourg euro coins

See also
Images of euro banknotes

Images of Luxembourg euro coins

Spelling of the words "euro" and "cent" in the official Community languages

Main legal texts on the euro


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