20 euro: S.M.S. Sankt Georg

Series: Austria: Austria on the High Seas

20 euro S.M.S. Sankt Georg - 2005 - Series: Austria on the High Seas - Austria

The obverse shows the armoured cruiser S.M.S. Sankt Georg sailing into New York Harbour on 17th May, 1907. Together with the smaller S.M.S. Aspern she was representing Austria-Hungary at the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of the founding of the original British settlement at Jamestown (named after King James I) in Virginia. With flags flying the Sankt Georg steams into the harbour past the Statue of Liberty - that landmark of New York which was a gift from France and which still welcomes all travellers to the New World today. It was to be the last visit of an Austrian naval vessel in the U.S.A. The reverse side shows the naval arsenal of Pola, the principal naval base of the Austro-Hungarian navy since the middle of the 19th century. Here one sees the Olive Island in the harbour with its two characteristic covered construction docks, where the Sankt Georg was built between 1901 and 1903. The stern and the propellers can be clearly seen. In the foreground a steam lauch sails by. The Sankt Georg was the last of the great armoured cruisers before the era of the dreadnoughts dawned, and she occupied a correspondingly important place in the fleet. During the First World War the Sankt Georg was regarded with respect by the Entente commanders.