Euro banknotes

The winning designs chosen by the EMI Council were produced by Robert Kalina of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and inspired by the theme “Ages and styles of Europe”. They were chosen because they unite historical developments in technology, art and communication into one harmonious composition, and they epitomise the dawn of a new Europe with its shared cultural heritage and the vision of a joint future in the next millennium. The banknote designs depict the architectural styles of seven periods in Europe’s cultural history – Classical, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and rococo, the age of iron and glass, and modern 20th century architecture – and show three main architectural elements: windows, gateways and bridges. The windows and gateways on the front of each banknote symbolise the spirit of openness and co-operation in Europe. The 12 stars of the European Union are also featured to represent the dynamism and harmony of contemporary Europe. These design elements are complemented on the reverse of each banknote, which features a bridge typical of the respective age of European cultural development.These bridges range from early constructions to the sophisticated suspension bridges of the modern era and are used as a metaphor for communication among the people of Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world. Source: “euro banknote design exhibition” by European Central bank, September 2003.

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