|The coin celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Union of the Ionian Islands with Greece.
The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in Greece, traditionally called the Heptanese, i.e. "the Seven Islands". From 1204, the Republic of Venice controlled Corfu and slowly all the Ionian islands fell under Venetian rule. In 1797 Napoléon Bonaparte conquered Venice, and by the Treaty of Campo Formio the islanders found themselves under French rule. In 1809, the British defeated the French fleet in Zakynthos (October 2, 1809) captured Kefallonia, Kythera and Zakynthos, and took Lefkada in 1810.
Once Greek independence was established after 1830, however, the islanders began to resent foreign rule. In 1862, Britain decided to transfer the islands to Greece, as a gesture of support intended to bolster the new king's popularity. On May 2, 1864, the British departed and the islands became three provinces of the Kingdom of Greece though Britain retained the use of the port of Corfu.
The 'Seven Point Star' symbolizes the "Ionian Dimension": the 'Group of Seven Islands' in the Ionian Sea bore and inspired outstanding representatives in the fields of Art, important musicians, poets, painters and politicians. Clockwise from top, the visuals symbolize the following islands: Corfu's emblem is the "apēdalos naus" (ship without steering gear), as 'Great Nautical Powers' were attributed to the island and its sailors were well known for their nautical abilities and skills since ancient times. Zakynthos is represented by the sacrificial tripod of Apollo — Ithaca: Odysseus is depicted with the anciant hat Pileus — Paxi's emblem is a triden: according to a mythological tale, it was created when Poseidon hit the island of Corfu with his trident, splitting it in two — Kythira, the island of celestial Aphrodite, is symbolized by her 'emergence from the sea' — Lefkada is represented by the 'Apollonian harp', symbol for its 'Great Musical Tradition' — Cephalonia's emblem is its mythical hero Cephalus, depicted with his hound and spear. The coin’s outer ring depicts the 12 stars of the European flag.
Issue date: 24 September 2014
Diameter - 25.75mm
Thickness - 2.2mm
Weight - 8.5gr
|Edge lettering (Hellenic Republic), fine milled