Mint your special coin of Valmiera during the city festival


The emblem of Valmiera as it was in 1524 on the obverse and a picture of a typical vessel of the Hanseatic League designed by the artist of the Valmiera Museum on the reverse – everyone will have an opportunity to mint such a unique coin during the Valmiera City Festival, while enjoying the medieval spirit by the castle ruins.

“Nowadays the coins are completely different from how they were during the medieval times. It wasn’t possible to make them all look like one – they were with uneven surface, also the edges weren’t so smoothly done. The material out of which the coin was made, gave the value. Particularly popular were silver coins,” explains the director of the Valmiera Museum Iveta Blūma.

 The money mint for the educational needs of the Valmiera Museum was acquired through the project “Hanseatic Approach to New Sustainable Alliances” and provides an opportunity for all interested to see and learn how coins were made many centuries ago. „During the minting process, at first the metal was cut and only then a picture was minted in the coin. Afterwards the coins were weighted because its weight and the material defined the worth of a coin,” tells the director. She also adds that contrary to the popular belief, to mint a good coin doesn’t require a lot of strength, but a precise hit instead.

In the current day territory of Latvia money was introduced by Vikings who, due to the intensification of trade, stopped in the ports of Kurzeme and Zemgale, bringing along with them dirhams from the East. Later on German denars appeared. And afterwards a great variety of coins were present within the territory because rights to mint coins didn’t only belong to Kaisers but also to monasteries.

In the forthcoming centuries coins in the current day territory of Latvia arrived together with the Swedish merchants from Gotland to whom bishop Albert allowed to mint coins in the Archbishopric of Riga. From 13th to 16th centuries coins were minted in several Livonian cities: in Riga, Tallinn, Tartu and Cēsis. Various coins have been used by the locals, including Polish and Swedish ones. However in the 17th century a plate money made out of copper plates appeared. Coins are a valuable source of information about the rulers, economic and trade relations, skilfulness of craftsmen etc.

Aside coin minting, guests of the Valmiera City Festival are also invited to take part in other typical medieval activities. On August 13 from 9:00 till 16:00 in the territory of the Valmiera Museum „Celebration in the castle” will take place. Visitors will have an opportunity to try on medieval costumes and medieval armoury, try out shooting with a bow and hold a real sword, observe how various medieval objects are being made and find out which games still played nowadays were introduced during the medieval times. Along with that the traditional fair will take place in the old town and in the town square.

In close cooperation of 11 partners from Latvia, Estonia and Sweden, from October 2015 until December 2018 the project “Hanseatic Approach to New Sustainable Alliances” will be carried out. The aim of the project is to revitalize the historical heritage of the Hanseatic League and it is supported by the Central Baltic programme 2014-2020. Seven partners from Latvia have joined the project, namely, Cēsis Culture and Tourism Centre, Koknese, Limbaži, Pārgauja and Kuldīga counties, as well as Valmiera City Council and the Vidzeme Planning Region. Viljandi and Pärnu City Councils are represented by Estonia and from Sweden – Gotland Region and the Gotland Tourism Development Agency “Inspiration Gotland”, which is also the leading partner of the project. 

Zane Bulmeistare