When using a country’s currency, it’s taken for granted that whatever it illustrates is “local” and “real”. In fact, travel often begins when we go to the exchange office prior to a trip. There is so much to discover about a country on a banknote: landscapes, indigenous flora and fauna as well as noteworthy buildings. But when it comes to Europe, this all falls through. This is precisely why, when people realise that the monuments featured on the euro banknotes are fictional, an astonished look is generally accompanied by a tinge of disappointment… but no longer!
In 2013, in the suburb of Rotterdam, the island township of Spijkenisse decided to claim the bridges featured on EU banknotes as its own. Triggered by the creative spirit of Dutch designer Robin Stam who dreamt of bringing these fictional bridges to life, the township agreed to invest additional funds to make Stam’s vision a reality.
If the initial reasoning behind the fictional bridges, designed by Austrian banknote designer Robert Kalina, was to avoid any hard feelings between the then 12 members of the Eurozone (for only 7 denominations), now the bridges have become a product of The Netherlands. Yet, they do a very good job at satisfying Kalina’s message: bridging gaps and connecting an island to the mainland.
To find out more about this peculiar architectural project, watch Tom Scott’s short video here below: