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Situated in the north east of the country, Nieder Österreich is both Vienna’s immediate hinterland and Austria’s largest province. A place where industry and agriculture coexist, it also boasts areas of exquisite natural beauty, none more so than the Wachau. Here, beneath terraced vineyards, ruined castles and ancient monasteries, the mighty Danube forms one of the world’s most spectacular river valleys. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it makes for the perfect centrepiece of the third 10 euro silver coin in our superb Austria Piece by Piece series.
The obverse of the coin features a typical Wachau riverine scene of a ferry sailing past the monastery of Melk, the ancient town gate of Krems and the baroque church at Dürnstein, the village where King Richard the Lionheart of England was famously held captive in the 12th century. Celebrating the nine federal provinces of Austria, each coin in the series also reproduces the winning design from a competition in which schoolchildren were asked to draw their home province. The coin’s handsome reverse, cleverly designed by ten-year-old Christian Kopf from Ertl, shows the province's four separate districts: wine, industry, wood and must (fruit juice).