Austria – 5 Euro UNC, Viennese Walz, 2013

Considered one of the most important ever developments in the history of dancing, the Viennese Waltz is still very much alive and well today more than 200 years after its advent. As enchanting as the dance itself, this 5 Euro coin has been struck in honour of this most enduring of Austrian institutions. Though it may seem very tame by today’s standards, back in the second half of the 18th century when it developed from Austrian folk dance into the first ever dance performed in the “closed hold” position – as shown on the coin’s reverse – the Viennese Waltz was the subject of great controversy. Nevertheless, the Waltz craze spread quickly around Europe and huge dance halls that could hold thousands of dancers at a time were constructed. With 150 official public balls listed in the ball calendar in the first three months of each year in Vienna alone, not to mention the recent renaissance in ballroom dancing around the globe, it is a craze that shows little sign of waning.

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