23 June 2023
A silver ducat depicting Poptaslot Castle is the latest in an ongoing series on ‘Dutch Castles’, which are commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Finance.
Poptaslot Castle in Marssum, Friesland, features a gatehouse, 16th-century crow-stepped gables characteristic of Dutch architecture, a 17th-century interior and beautiful gardens.
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The castle was built in 1512 by the Heringa family and was named after them. When Henricus Popta, a lawyer, became the castle’s owner in 1687, its name changed to Poptaslot Castle. Popta used the castle as a summer residence but maintained the interiors. Today, the castle is open to the public in July and August.
As written in the Dutch Mint Act, a silver ducat must depict a knight in armour with a shield showing the province weapon in front of his left leg.
To satisfy this requirement, Godard van Reede Godard (1644–1703) is featured on all the coins in the Dutch Castles series. This knight is known as Godard de Ginkell in the UK due to his military career here.
In 1688, he accompanied William, Prince of Orange, in his expedition to England – the ‘Glorious Revolution’. When the then king returned to the Netherlands, General Ginkell took charge of the king’s campaign in Ireland, proving victorious in October 1691.
Ginkell received the thanks of the House of Commons and was created 1st Earl of Athlone and Baron of Aughrim by the king.
When he returned to the Netherlands, Ginkell became commander in chief of the army of Flanders, fighting in the sieges of Namur in 1695 and the Battle of Neerwinden. In the War of Spanish Succession, Ginkell was appointed first Field Marshal of the Dutch States Army in 1702.
Coin obverse design
As well as the image of Godard de Ginkell, the obverse of the coin features an image of Poptaslot Castle, with the province weapon of Friesland shown on the knight’s shield. The inscription reads: ‘MO NO ARG REG BELGII FRI’, meaning silver coin of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the ‘FRI’ at the end standing for the province of Friesland.
On the reverse of the coin is the national coat of arms of the Netherlands with the Royal Crown between the numbers of the year. The inscription reads: ‘CONCORDIA RES PARVAE CRESCUNT’ (unity makes strength). The mint mark and the privy mark can also be found on the reverse.
The Poptaslot Castle ducat is the 11th in the series and is available in a mintage of 2000.