It was introduced when hyperinflation following the end of World War I and the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian empire made the previous currency, the corona, worthless. By 1922, a corona only had one 15,000th of its pre-war value.
When Austria became part of Hitler's Third Reich, the schilling was abandoned in favour of the Reichsmark. Although reinstated in 1945, it did not become fully convertible again until 1967, though it later became known as one of Europe's "hardest" currencies. Its banknotes feature, among others, Sigmund Freud and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart will also grace Austria's output of 1 euro coins.
To prepare the public for the cash changeover, the Vienna mint issued a special run of "last" 50-Schilling coins in summer 2001. They were made similar in shape to the euro coins and showed three variations of the schilling's design throughout its history. Nearly 60% of the Austrian population welcomes the arrival of the euro.
|Send us your memories of the Austrian schilling|