When the name Jan Perner is said, railway enthusiasts will pay attention. The railway builder, designer, patriot and an impressive figure of our national history receives a beautiful tribute this year. It is the 200CZK silver coin issued by the Czech National Bank to mark the 200th anniversary of Perner’ birth.
Jan Perner was born on the 7th of September 1815 in Bratčice. He graduated from the College of Technology in Prague directed by František Josef Gerstner, the builder of the first horse-driven railway from České Budějovice to Linz. Gerstner’s son then became Perner’s first employer – he supervised the railway project in Russia that Perner was involved in. Following disagreements Perner had to leave the country, he came back to his homeland and embarked on the Emperor Ferdinand Northern Railway and other major projects. Step by step, he succeeded in convincing the very Emperor about his abilities and was appointed the Chief State Railway Engineer. Perner’s project of a railway from Prague to Dresden got the green light and Perner also designed the location of the state railway station in Prague. However, Perner died just days after the official opening of the section from Olomouc to Prague as a result of a tragic injury, aged just 30 years.
The Czech National Bank announced the competition for the silver commemorative coin to mark the 200th anniversary of Jan Perner’s birth in February 2014. 18 designers with 32 competition models participated. Karel Zeithammer, a member of the Scientific Council of the National Technical Museum in Prague, was the expert advisor during the selection. The jury decided to give the grand prize to the design by the sculptor Zbyněk Fojtů. His model convinced the jury with its harmony between the obverse and reverse sides as well as with its successful symbolical rendition of Jan Perner as a railway builder. The attractive issue of the new 200CZK silver coin will find fans among collectors as well as the admirers of technological progress and its history. Make yourself happy and upgrade your collection with another charming item!