All commemorative euro coins are intended for circulation. This means that they can be used — and must be accepted — just like any other euro coin. What makes them different is their commemorative design on the national side which commemorates a historical event or a person. Commemorative coins jointly issued by all euro countries use a common design on the national side, showing the name of the issuing country as well as the event commemorated in the respective language s. Four commemorative coins have been issued jointly by all euro countries: Georgios Stamatopoulos, professional designer at the Bank of Greece in January , to commemorate ten years of euro banknotes and coins, the winning design, selected by the public via an online vote, was created by Mr.
Helmut Andexlinger, professional designer at the Austrian Mint and in July , to celebrate thirty years of the EU flag, the winning design, selected by the public via an online vote, was created by Mr. Georgios Stamatopoulos, professional designer at the Bank of Greece.
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Back to Top Collector euro coins Collector euro coins are officially issued by euro area countries, have a nominal value face value and are legal tender, but are not intended for circulation. A range of domestically and internationally known composers and performers across the musical spectrum have found success in modern Greece, while traditional Greek music is noted as a mixture of influences from indigenous culture with those of west and east.
A well-known Greek musical instrument is the bouzouki. Famous Greek musicians and composers of modern era include the central figure of 20th-century European modernism Iannis Xenakis , a composer, architect and theorist. Greece is one of the few places in Europe where the day-to-day role of folk dance is sustained.
Rather than functioning as a museum piece preserved only for performances and special events, it is a vivid expression of everyday life. Occasions for dance are usually weddings, family celebrations, and paneyeria Patron Saints' name days. Dance has its place in ceremonial customs that are still preserved in Greek villages, such as dancing the bride during a wedding and dancing the trousseau of the bride during the wedding preparations.
The carnival and Easter offer more opportunities for family gatherings and dancing. Greek taverns providing live entertainment often include folk dances in their program. Regional characteristics have developed over the years because of variances in climatic conditions , land morphology and people's social lives. In later years, wars, international pacts and consequent movement of populations, and even movements of civil servants around the country, intermingled traditions. People learned new dances, adapted them to their environment, and included them in their feasts.
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Kalamatianos and Syrtos are considered Pan-Hellenic dances and are danced all over the world in diaspora communities. Others have also crossed boundaries and are known beyond the regions where they originated; these include the Pentozali from Crete , Hasapiko from Constantinople, Zonaradikos from Thrace , Serra from Pontos and Balos from the Aegean islands.
The avant-garde choreographer, director and dancer Dimitris Papaioannou was responsible for the critically successful opening ceremony of the Olympic Games , with a conception that reflected the classical influences on modern and experimental Greek dance forms.
There were several interconnected traditions of painting in ancient Greece. Due to their technical differences, they underwent somewhat differentiated developments. Not all painting techniques are equally well represented in the archaeological record. The most respected form of art, according to authors like Pliny or Pausanias , were individual, mobile paintings on wooden boards, technically described as panel paintings.
Also, the tradition of wall painting in Greece goes back at least to the Minoan and Mycenaean Bronze Age , with the lavish fresco decoration of sites like Knossos , Tiryns and Mycenae. Much of the figural or architectural sculpture of ancient Greece was painted colourfully. Due to intensive weathering, polychromy on sculpture and architecture has substantially or totally faded in most cases. Byzantine art is the term created for the Eastern Roman Empire from about the 5th century AD until the fall of Constantinople in The most salient feature of this new aesthetic was its "abstract," or anti-naturalistic character.
If classical art was marked by the attempt to create representations that mimicked reality as closely as possible, Byzantine art seems to have abandoned this attempt in favor of a more symbolic approach. The Byzantine painting concentrated mainly on icons and hagiographies. The term Cretan School describes an important school of icon painting, also known as Post-Byzantine art, which flourished while Crete was under Venetian rule during the late Middle Ages , reaching its climax after the Fall of Constantinople , becoming the central force in Greek painting during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
The Cretan artists developed a particular style of painting under the influence of both Eastern and Western artistic traditions and movements. The most famous product of the school, El Greco , was the most successful of the many artists who tried to build a career in Western Europe. The Heptanese School of painting succeeded the Cretan school as the leading school of Greek post-Byzantine painting after Crete fell to the Ottomans in Like the Cretan school it combined Byzantine traditions with an increasing Western European artistic influence, and also saw the first significant depiction of secular subjects.
The school was based in the Ionian islands , which were not part of Ottoman Greece, from the middle of the 17th century until the middle of the 19th century. Modern Greek painting, after the independence and the creation of the modern Greek state, began to be developed around the time of Romanticism and the Greek artists absorbed many elements from their European colleagues, resulting in the culmination of the distinctive style of Greek Romantic art. Ancient Greek monumental sculpture was composed almost entirely of marble or bronze ; with cast bronze becoming the favoured medium for major works by the early 5th century.
Both marble and bronze are fortunately easy to form and very durable. Chryselephantine sculptures, used for temple cult images and luxury works, used gold , most often in leaf form and ivory for all or parts faces and hands of the figure, and probably gems and other materials, but were much less common, and only fragments have survived. By the early 19th century, the systematic excavation of ancient Greek sites had brought forth a plethora of sculptures with traces of notably multicolored surfaces.
It was not until published findings by German archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann in the late 20th and early 21st century that the painting of ancient Greek sculptures became an established fact. Using high-intensity lamps, ultraviolet light , specially designed cameras, plaster casts, and certain powdered minerals, Brinkmann proved that the entire Parthenon , including the actual structure as well as the statues, had been painted.
The Byzantines inherited the early Christian distrust of monumental sculpture in religious art, and produced only reliefs , of which very few survivals are anything like life-size, in sharp contrast to the medieval art of the West, where monumental sculpture revived from Carolingian art onwards. Small ivories were also mostly in relief. The so-called "minor arts" were very important in Byzantine art and luxury items, including ivories carved in relief as formal presentation Consular diptychs or caskets such as the Veroli casket , hardstone carvings , enamels, jewelry, metalwork, and figured silks were produced in large quantities throughout the Byzantine era.
Many of these were religious in nature, although a large number of objects with secular or non-representational decoration were produced: Byzantine ceramics were relatively crude, as pottery was never used at the tables of the rich, who ate off silver. After the establishment of the Greek Kingdom and the western influence of Neoclassicism , sculpture was re-discovered by the Greek artists. Main themes included the ancient Greek antiquity, the War of Independence and important figures of the Greek history. Theatre was born in Greece.
The city-state of Classical Athens , which became a significant cultural, political, and military power during this period, was its centre, where it was institutionalised as part of a festival called the Dionysia , which honoured the god Dionysus.
Tragedy late 6th century BC , comedy BC , and the satyr play were the three dramatic genres to emerge there. Athens exported the festival to its numerous colonies and allies in order to promote a common cultural identity. It is impossible, however, to know with certainty how these fertility rituals became the basis for tragedy and comedy. During the Byzantine period, the theatrical art was heavily declined. According to Marios Ploritis, the only form survived was the folk theatre Mimos and Pantomimos , despite the hostility of the official state.
The renaissance which led to the modern Greek theatre, took place in the Venetian Crete. Significal dramatists include Vitsentzos Kornaros and Georgios Chortatzis.
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The modern Greek theatre was born after the Greek independence , in the early 19th century, and initially was influenced by the Heptanesean theatre and melodrama, such as the Italian opera. During the late 19th and early 20th century, the Athenian theatre scene was dominated by revues , musical comedies , operettas and nocturnes and notable playwrights included Spyridon Samaras , Dionysios Lavrangas , Theophrastos Sakellaridis and others.
The National Theatre of Greece was founded in Greek cuisine has a long tradition and its flavors change with the season and its geography. Ancient Greek cuisine was characterized by its frugality and was founded on the "Mediterranean triad": Greece has a culinary tradition of some 4, years. The Byzantine cuisine was similar to the classical cuisine including however new ingredients that were not available before, like caviar, nutmeg and lemons, basil, with fish continuing to be an integral part of the diet.
Culinary advice was influenced by the theory of humors, first put forth by the ancient Greek doctor Claudius Aelius Galenus. The modern Greek cuisine has also influences from the Ottoman and Italian cuisine due to the Ottoman and Venetian dominance through the centuries.
Greece is one of the oldest wine - producing regions in the world. The earliest evidence of Greek wine has been dated to 6, years ago   where wine was produced on a household or communal basis. In ancient times, as trade in wine became extensive, it was transported from end to end of the Mediterranean; Greek wine had especially high prestige in Italy under the Roman Empire. In the medieval period, wines exported from Crete , Monemvasia and other Greek ports fetched high prices in northern Europe. Education in Greece is compulsory for all children 6—15 years old; namely, it includes Primary Dimotiko and Lower Secondary Gymnasio Education.
The school life of the students, however, can start from the age of 2. In some Vrefonipiakoi Stathmoi there are also Nipiaka Tmimata nursery classes which operate along with the Nipiagogeia kindergartens. Post-compulsory Secondary Education , according to the reforms of and , consists of two main school types: These Institutes are not classified as an educational level, because they accept both Gymnasio lower secondary school and Lykeio upper secondary school graduates according to the relevant specializations they provide.
Students are admitted to these Institutes according to their performance at national level examinations taking place at the third grade of Lykeio. Additionally, students are admitted to the Hellenic Open University upon the completion of the 22 year of age by drawing lots. Nea Dimokratia New Democracy , the Greek conservative right political party, has claimed that it will change the law so that private universities gain recognition.
Without official recognition, students who have an EES degree are unable to work in the public sector. However, their academic status still remains a problem. The issue of full recognition is still an issue of debate among Greek politicians. The Institute of Entrepreneurship Development iED is a Greek Non-governmental organization formed for the promotion of innovation and for enhancing the spirit of entrepreneurship intending to link with other European initiatives. The origins of Western literature and of the main branches of Western learning may be traced to the era of Greek greatness that began before BC with the epics of Homer , the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Hesiod , the first didactic poet, put into epic verse his descriptions of pastoral life, including practical advice on farming, and allegorical myths. The poets Alcaeus of Mytilene , Sappho , Anacreon , and Bacchylides wrote of love, war, and death in lyrics of great feeling and beauty. Pindar celebrated the Panhellenic athletic festivals in vivid odes.
The fables of the slave Aesop have been famous for more than 2, years. Aristophanes , the greatest author of comedies, satirized the mores of his day in a series of brilliant plays.
Culture of Greece
Three great historians were Herodotus , regarded as the father of history, known for The Persian Wars ; Thucydides , who generally avoided myth and legend and applied greater standards of historical accuracy in his History of the Peloponnesian War; and Xenophon , best known for his account of the Greek retreat from Persia, the Anabasis.
Outstanding literary figures of the Hellenistic period were Menander , the chief representative of a newer type of comedy; the poets Callimachus , Theocritus , and Apollonius Rhodius , author of the Argonautica ; and Polybius , who wrote a detailed history of the Mediterranean world. Noteworthy in the Roman period were Strabo , a writer on geography; Plutarch , the father of biography, whose Parallel Lives of famous Greeks and Romans is a chief source of information about great figures of antiquity; Pausanias , a travel writer; and Lucian , a satirist.
The leading philosophers of the period preceding Greece's golden age were Thales , Pythagoras , Heraclitus , Protagoras , and Democritus. Socrates investigated ethics and politics. His greatest pupil, Plato , used Socrates' question-and-answer method of investigating philosophical problems in his famous dialogues. Plato's pupil Aristotle established the rules of deductive reasoning but also used observation and inductive reasoning, applying himself to the systematic study of almost every form of human endeavor.
Outstanding in the Hellenistic period were Epicurus , the philosopher of moderation; Zeno of Citium , the founder of Stoicism; and Diogenes of Sinope , the famous Cynic. The oath of Hippocrates , the father of medicine, is still recited by newly graduating physicians. Euclid evolved the system of geometry that bears his name. Archimedes discovered the principles of mechanics and hydrostatics. Eratosthenes calculated the earth's circumference with remarkable accuracy, and Hipparchus Founded scientific astronomy.
Galen was an outstanding physician of ancient times. The sculptor Phidias created the statue of Athena and the figure of Zeus in the temple at Olympia and supervised the construction and decoration of the Parthenon. Another renowned sculptor was Praxiteles. The legal reforms of Solon served as the basis of Athenian democracy. The Athenian general Miltiades the Younger led the victory over the Persians at Marathon in BC, and Themistocles was chiefly responsible for the victory at Salamis 10 years later.
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Pericles , the virtual ruler of Athens for more than 25 years, added to the political power of that city, inaugurated the construction of the Parthenon and other noteworthy buildings, and encouraged the arts of sculpture and painting. With the decline of Athens, first Sparta and then Thebes, under the great military tactician Epaminondas , gained the ascendancy; but soon thereafter, two military geniuses, Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great , gained control over all of Greece and formed a vast empire stretching as far east as India.
The ECB will announce "well in advance" when the old notes will lose their legal tender status. However, they will not lose their value and it will be possible to exchange them for new notes at Eurosystem central banks indefinitely. As in the design process of the first series of euro notes, visually impaired users were consulted during the design phase of the Europa series, and their requirements were included in the final designs.
The European Central Bank closely monitors the circulation and stock of the euro coins and banknotes. It is a task of the Eurosystem to ensure an efficient and smooth supply of euro notes and to maintain their integrity throughout the Eurozone. As of June , there were about 15, million banknotes in circulation around the Eurozone. The European Central Bank publishes information on the amount of counterfeit banknotes removed from circulation every 6 months. In July , the European Central Bank said that it removed , counterfeit euro banknotes from circulation in the first half of , which is an increase of According to the central banks , the ratio of counterfeited bank notes is about 10 in one million of real bank notes for the Swiss franc , of 50 in one million for the Euro, of in one million for United States dollar and of in one million for Pound sterling.
Legally, both the European Central Bank and the national central banks NCBs of the Eurozone countries have the right to issue the 7 different euro banknotes. Since , euro notes have been printed by the National Central Banks of the Eurozone, with each Central Bank being responsible for and bearing the cost of producing a proportion of the notes. The European Central Bank publishes details about euro notes produced every year. There is a six-character printing code on every banknote which states the printer of the banknote. These printing codes have an initial letter, followed by three digits, then by a single letter, and ending in a digit, for example, "RA1".
The initial letter identifies the printing facility. So "A" would be the first row and "1" would indicate the first column. Banknotes are printed in sheets. Different printers use different sheet sizes and sheets of higher denominations, which are larger in size, would have fewer notes printed per sheet. The printer code does not need to be the same as the country code, i. Oberthur , a private printer, and the Bank of France printing works,  and also two in the United Kingdom: Thomas De La Rue , a major private printer, and the Bank of England printing house, which does not produce euro banknotes.
Unlike euro coins , euro notes do not have a national side indicating which country issued them. The country that issued them is not necessarily where they were printed. The information about the issuing country is encoded within the first character of each note's serial number instead. The first character of the serial number is a letter which uniquely identifies the country that issues the note.
The W, K and J codes have been reserved for the three EU member states that did not adopt the euro in , while the R prefix is reserved for Luxembourg, which, at present, does not issue euro banknotes. Although the Slovenian letter had been reserved since the eurozone enlargement in January , the country initially used previously issued banknotes issued from other member states.
The first banknotes bearing the "H" letter, produced in France specifically on behalf of Slovenia, were witnessed no sooner than April In the new series, there are two codes, like in the first series. They are the printer code in the top right hand corner and the serial number. However, as the code indicates the printer, rather than the issuing NCB , certain letters have been reassigned from NCBs which do not maintain their own printing facilities. In the first series, H denoted Slovenia.
There are several communities of people at European level, an example of which is EuroBillTracker ,  that as a hobby keep track of the euro notes that pass through their hands to keep track and know where they travel or have travelled. On 18 November the ECB decided definitively that there was insufficient demand across the Eurozone for very-low-denomination banknotes. In , Richard Faille developed the idea of souvenir Euro notes made to the same standards as the currency, but without value.
These can then be sold at a profit to commemorate places or events. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. History of the euro. Retrieved 2 August Archived from the original on 10 May Retrieved 13 February Retrieved 6 August Archived from the original on 11 September Retrieved 31 July Retrieved 16 January Retrieved 1 November Retrieved 5 July The banknotes show a geographical representation of Europe. It excludes islands of less than square kilometres because high-volume offset printing does not permit the accurate reproduction of small design elements.
Retrieved 7 January Retrieved 9 January Retrieved 12 February El Banco Central Europeo". La Banca centrale europea".
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