One of the most famous female leaders in world history, Maria Theresa was coronated 275 years ago this year.
To mark the anniversary, the Kremnica Mint in Slovakia has issued a Proof 2016 .900 fine gold €100 coin.
Though she ascended to the throne in 1740, as was customary a lengthy period passed before the actual coronation was conducted June 25, 1741, in Bratislava (then Pressburg), the coronation city of the Hungarian Kingdom between 1563 and 1830. Bratislava is now capital of Slovakia.
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According to the Kremnica Mint, Maria Theresa entered the town with great splendor accompanied by courtiers and Hungarian nobility. The ruler was welcomed at Michael’s Gate by representatives of the town council headed by the mayor, who accompanied her to St. Martin’s Cathedral. The coronation mass was spectacular and attended by only the highest-ranking clerical and secular dignitaries of Hungary.
The Archbishop of Esztergom, Imre Esterházy, anointed Maria Theresa with holy oil of catechumen and placed the Crown of St. Stephen upon her head.
The Palatine John Pálffy presented her with the sword, scepter and gold orb. In accordance with ancient custom, the queen then rode on horseback to the top of the coronation hill on the bank of the Danube, where she recited her oath to defend the country.
She had been raised by her father, Charles VI, to be a ruler, but many foreign powers would not recognize a female ruler.
Maria Theresa, only 23 when coronated, became embroiled in a long fight to secure her rights. The beginning of her reign was marked by a conflict known as the War of the Austrian Succession (1741 to 1745) and several years later it was followed by the Seven Years’ War (1756 to 1763).
However, Maria Theresa gained respect and admiration for her statesmanship, political skills and reforms during the 40 years of her reign (1740 to 1780), and she has been called “the greatest statesman of the Austrian dynasty.”
The obverse of the coin depicts a historical scene from Maria Theresa’s coronation parade in Bratislava placed in an oval frame. To the right of the frame is the coat of arms of the Slovak Republic. The name of the issuing country, SLOVENSKO, is inscribed in the upper part of the coin.
The denomination and year of issue, the Kremnica Mint’s MK mark and the stylized initials of the coin designer, Vladimír Pavlica, VP, also are on the obverse.
The reverse shows a portrait of Maria Theresa placed in an oval medallion.