• 5 Euro 2020, Vatican City, Pope Francis, 250th Anniversary of Birth of Ludwig van Beethoven
  • 5 Euro 2020, Vatican City, Pope Francis, 250th Anniversary of Birth of Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) was a German composer and pianist. Beethoven is acknowledged to be one of the giants of classical music. Together with Bach and Johannes Brahms, he is referred to as one of the "three Bs" who epitomize that tradition. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Classical music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 1 violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio.

Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. At the age of 21 he moved to Vienna, where he began studying composition with Joseph Haydn and gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. By his late 20s his hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost completely deaf. In 1811 he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose; many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years of his life.

Artist: Orietta Rossi
Engraver: Maria Carmela Colaneri


Depicts crowned coat of arms of Pope Francis encircled by the Pope's name and date in Roman numerals, to recall the Beethovenian celebration, a musical note below.

The coat of arms displays three charges on a blue field. In reference to Francis being a Jesuit, the uppermost charge is the emblem of the Society of Jesus. The emblem is composed of a Sun radiant, within which is the IHS christogram (a monogram of the Holy Name of Jesus). Below the Jesuit emblem is an eight-pointed star, the star being a long-standing symbol of the Virgin Mary, and a spikenard representing Saint Joseph. Unusually, Francis also decided to retain his personal motto: Miserando atque eligendo (Latin: "by having mercy, by choosing him"). It is taken from the 21st homily of Saint Bede, which is on the Gospel of Matthew and refers to the vocation of Saint Matthew.

The papal tiara is a crown that was worn by popes of the Catholic Church from as early as the 8th century to the mid-20th. It was last used by Pope Paul VI in 1963 and only at the beginning of his reign. From 1143 to 1963, the papal tiara was solemnly placed on the pope's head during a papal coronation. The surviving papal tiaras are all in the triple form, the oldest being of 1572, and the others no earlier than 1800.



Depicts a portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven inspired by a portrait of Joseph Karl Stieler (1820), the pentagram in the background shows a piano - the instrument most loved by the German genius - and a fragment of the score of the famous composition Für Elise dating back to 1810. The inscription "CITTA' DEL VATICANO" (Vatican City) above, Beethoven signature and a quill pen below. Mintmark (R) on the top left, value bottom left, engraver and artist name and initials (INC is the Italian abbreviation for the engraver) below the portrait.

Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor (WoO 59, Bia 515) for solo piano, commonly known as "Für Elise" ("For Elise"), is one of Ludwig van Beethoven's most popular compositions. It was not published during his lifetime, only being discovered (by Ludwig Nohl) 40 years after his death. The identity of "Elise" is unknown.

R 𝄞
M.C..C. INC.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Bi-Metallic
Ring Bronzital
Center Cupronickel
Weight 9.52 g
Diameter 27.5 mm
Thickness 2.15 mm
Shape polygon
Sides 16
Alignment Medal
Italian State Mint and Polygraphic Institute (R)

Related coins

Aluminium, 0.6 g, ⌀ 17 mm

Copper Plated Steel, 2.3 g, ⌀ 16.25 mm

Copper Plated Steel, 3.06 g, ⌀ 18.75 mm