50 euro - Alpine Treasures - High Peaks
Alpine Treasures is a new three-coin gold series that both highlights the rare species of plants and animals native to the Austrian Alps and shows off the multifaceted nature of the country’s spectacular mountain landscape. The series starts at the very top in the form of High Peaks, which provides a gorgeous golden glimpse of the monumental peaks of the Hohe Tauern National Park, including the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain (3,798 metres). One of the most spectacular high mountain landscapes on the planet, the Hohe Tauern is home to 300 peaks above 3,000 metres in altitude. Austria’s first ever national park, covering an area of 1,800 km2 where the provinces of Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia converge at the central ridge of the Austrian Alps, the Hohe Tauern is also the largest national park in central Europe. More than a third of all plant species recorded in Austria can be found in the Hohe Tauern, including half of all mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Among the park’s 3,500 plant species is a botanical rarity in the Eastern Alps, the endemic Alpenbreitschötchen, a member of the family of cruciferous vegetables. The special protection area on the Grossglockner is one of the few locations where the plant can be found in Austria. The coin’s obverse features different images of the Alpenbreitschötchen above the plant’s Latin name, Braya alpina. Once a rarity itself, after almost disappearing in the 19th century, the golden eagle has also found a safe haven in the Hohe Tauern. The coin’s reverse shows a view of the national park in which a golden eagle can be seen soaring in front of the majestic Grossglockner. There is no more fitting a creature to feature on the first of three gold coins celebrating the alpine treasures of Austria.