Obverse. Photo © Government of Andorra
  • 2 Euro 2021, KM# 566, Andorra, 100th Anniversary of the Coronation of Our Lady of Meritxell
  • 2 Euro 2021, KM# 566, Andorra, 100th Anniversary of the Coronation of Our Lady of Meritxell

Our Lady of Meritxell is an Andorran Roman Catholic statue depicting an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Our Lady of Meritxell is the patron saint of Andorra. The original statue dated from the late 12th century. However, the chapel in which it was housed burned down on September 8 1972, and the statue was destroyed. A replica can be found in the new Meritxell Basilica, designed in 1976 by Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura.

In the late 12th century, on January 6, a wild rose in bloom was found by villagers from Meritxell going to Mass in Canillo. It was out of season and at its base was found a statue of the Virgin and Child. The statue was placed in the Canillo church. However, the statue was found under the same wild rose the next day. The statue was taken to the church of Encamp. However, as before, the statue was again found under the same wild rose on the next day. As in similar legends elsewhere, the villagers of Meritxell took this as a sign and decided to build a new chapel in their town after they found an open space miraculously untouched by the winter snows.

The progressive increase of the devotion and admiration towards the Virgin throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, together with other circumstances such as embracing the national feeling by the inhabitants of Andorra, made the General Council of valleys of Andorra declare the Virgin of Meritxell the patron Saint of the Andorra Valleys. The declaration took place on October 24th 1873.

The continued support of the different bishops/co-princes of Meritxell, together with that fervour and popular tradition that already had been developed with time, made possible the canonical declaration of the Patronage of the Virgin of Meritxell. It was bishop Joan Benlloch Vivóla who made the request on August 23th 1913. Years later, the bishop from Barcelona Dr. Justí Guitart i Valardebò wanted to complete the work of its predecessors and worked in favour of the canonical coronation of the Virgin as the patron saint of Andorra. The recognition process concluded on the 8 of September of 1921. The faculty to grant this privilege fell to the basilica of Saint Peter of Rome.


Depicts the Our Lady of Meritxell statue in the centre with the new Meritxell Basilica as the background. Dates 1921 and 2021, country name and the inscription "Meritxell" below. The outer ring depicts the 12 stars of the European flag.

Our Lady of Meritxell statue was wooden polychromy with a static expression. The Virgin, enthroned, seated in hieratic attitude, was wearing a crown of five flowers on the head and a white veil under the crown, with adorned edges. In the backside of the throne, following the standards of the Romanesque statures of those days, there was a cavity destined surely to the safekeeping of relics or other pieces.

The right hand stood out due to its great proportions in relation to the rest of the body. This emphasized the gesture of blessing and welcome of the Mother to the children. Images of that time, with this specific characteristic, were denominated `Virgins of the long hand‘. The left hand was holding a seated baby Jesus who was not wearing a crown. He also had the right hand raised in a blessing attitude. His left hand was pushing a book against his chest. The Mother was wearing the typical wooden flat shoes that mountain farmers used to wear while bay Jesus was barefooted.

1921 2021


A geographical map of Western Europe spans the outer ring and inner core on the right side of the coin. The inscription 2 EURO is superimposed over the map of Europe, with the numeral “2” located in an open field representing the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

12 stars are located on the right side of the outer ring, with six stars atop the map of Europe and six stars below it; six vertical stripes cut across the inner core of the coin, visually connecting the upper and lower star segments.

Luc Luycx, a designer at the Royal Belgian Mint, designed the Euro’s common reverse; his initials, LL, are seen on the right side of the design, just under the “O” in “EURO.”



The sequence "2 ★ ★" repeated six times alternately upright and inverted

2 ★ ★ 2 ★ ★ 2 ★ ★ 2 ★ ★ 2 ★ ★ 2 ★ ★

2 Euro

100th Anniversary of the Coronation of Our Lady of Meritxell

KM# 566
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Bi-Metallic
Ring Cupronickel
Center Nickel Brass
Weight 8.5 g
Diameter 25.75 mm
Thickness 2.2 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Paris Mint (A)

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