header Notes Collection

20 Korun 1993, Slovakia

in Krause book Number: 20a
Years of issue: 01.09.1993
Signatures: Guvernér: Vladimír Masár (29 July 1993 - 28 July 1999), Viceguvernér: Marián Jusko (1 January 1993 - 28 July 1999)
Serie: 1993 Issue
Specimen of: 01.01.1993
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 128 × 65
Printer: British American Bank Note Co. Ltd., Ottawa

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

20 Korun 1993




The effigy of Prince Pribina, as he looked like in year 833.


20 Korun 1993

The effigy of Prince Pribina, as he looked like in year 833.

Pribina (c. 800 - 861) was a Slavic prince whose adventurous career, recorded in the Conversion of the Bavarians and the Carantanians (a historical work written in 870), illustrates the political volatility of the Franco-Slavic frontiers of his time. Pribina was the first ruler of Slavic origin to build a Christian church on Slavic territory in Nitra, and also the first to accept baptism.

He was attacked and expelled from his homeland by Mojmir I, duke of Moravia. Pribina first fled to Ratpot, one of the border lords in East Francia. Thereafter he was wandering in Central and Southeastern Europe for several years. Finally, in the late 830s, Louis the German, king of East Francia granted Pribina lands near Lake Balaton (now in Hungary) where he set up his own principality under the king's suzerainty. He died fighting against the Moravians.

The Principality of Nitra (Slovak: Nitrianske kniežatstvo; Hungarian: nyitrai fejedelemség), also known as the Duchy of Nitra, was a Slavic polity encompassing a group of settlements that developed in the IX century around Nitra in present-day Slovakia. Its history remains uncertain because of a lack of contemporary sources. The territory's status is subject to scholarly debate; some modern historians describe it as an independent polity that was annexed either around 833 or 870 by Great Moravia while others say that from its inception it was part of Great Moravia. No final list of the princes or dukes of Nitra has been agreed upon by historians.

The Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin caused the fall of Great Moravia in the early 900s and the occupation of the lowlands of present-day Slovakia. The local population survived the Hungarian conquest. Although most Slovak historians believe that some noble families continued their landholding after the disintegration of Great Moravia, other historians are less certain.

The history of the wider region of Nitra in the X and XI centuries is also disputed. The region is thought to have formed a separate political unit - the so-called "Nitra appanage duchy" - until 1108. Historian Ján Steinhübel writes that "Nitra was an autonomous duchy, a clear political entity, which laid the territorial and historical foundation of Slovakia". According to a concurrent theory, the Nitra region was fully incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary, although it was sometimes administered as part of the so-called ducatus or "duchy" - which encompassed one-third of the kingdom - by non-ruling members of the royal Árpád dynasty.

The remains of a IX-century fortress covering 12 hectares (30 acres), the age of which has not been determined, were unearthed in the center of Nitra. Beeby writes that the fortress belongs to the "Great Moravian period". According to Steinhübel, the fortress may have been named after the river Nitra, which flows below the hill upon which it stood. Archaeological research shows that a settlement inhabited by blacksmiths, goldsmiths and other artisans developed at the fortress. An extensive network of settlements emerged around it in the IX century.

The main source of information about the polity now known as the Principality of Nitra is the Conversion of the Bavarians and Carantanians, a document dated to approximately 870. The manuscripts state that "one Pribina", who had been "driven across the Danube by Mojmir, duke of the Moravians", fled to Radbod, Margrave of Pannonia (c. 833-856) in East Francia around 833. Radbod introduced him to King Louis the German, who ordered that Pribina should be "instructed in the faith and baptized". According to a sentence in three of the eleven extant manuscripts of the Conversion, Archbishop Adalram of Salzburg (r. 821-836) consecrated a church for Pribina "on his estate at a place over the Danube called Nitrava" at an unspecified date. Modern historians debate whether this sentence was part of the original text or was only a marginal note which was interpolated into the main text in the XII century.

Modern historians have not accepted a uniform interpretation of the cited texts. According to Bartl, Kirschbaum, Steinhübel, and many others, Pribina was initially the ruler of an independent polity which was centered around Nitra. Lukačka describes this polity as the "first demonstrable Slavic state north of the middle Danube". Barford writes that Pribina "was apparently prince of Nitra". According to Marsina, it "can hardly be unambiguously decided whether Pribina was prince of a greater tribe or of two or three smaller joined tribes". He adds that Pribina may have belonged to the second or third generation of the heads of this polity, which emerged in the valleys of the rivers Hron, Nitra, and Váh. Lukačka says that Pribina had a retinue and that most its members "certainly descended from the former tribal aristocracy" but some of them "could have come from the free strata of the mass of the people".

According to Vlasto, Pribina was Duke Mojmir of Moravia's lieutenant in Nitra and his attempts to achieve independence led to his exile. Vlasto identifies an early medieval church - the remains of which were unearthed on St Martin's Hill in Nitra - as the church which was consecrated by Archbishop Adalram in Pribina's Nitrava, according to the Conversion. Bowlus and Püspöki Nagy refute the identification of Pribina's Nitrava with Nitra. Scholars who write that Pribina was an independent ruler also say that his principality was united with Moravia after he was exiled from his homeland in around 833. Kirschbaum and Steinhübel add that the forced unification of the two principalities - Mojmir's Moravia and Pribina's Nitra - under Mojmir gave rise to the empire of Great Moravia. Marsina writes that the inhabitants of Pribina's principality who "definitely were aware of their difference from the Moravian Slavs" preserved their "specific consciousness" even within Great Moravia, which contributed to the development of the common consciousness of the ancestors of the Slovak people.

Denominations in numerals are on top and in lower right corner. In words centered, vertically.


20 Korun 1993

NitraCentered is the Nitra Castle.

Nitra Castle (Slovak: Nitriansky hrad, Hungarian: nyitrai vár) is a castle located in the Old Town of Nitra, Slovakia. It is a dominant of the city and a national cultural monument. It is the seat of the Diocese of Nitra.

The castle was built in the XI century on the place of an earlier fort. The core of the castle is St. Emmeram's Cathedral with the Bishop's residence, with several different parts. The oldest surviving part is the Romanesque Church of St. Emmeram from the XI century. The other two parts of the cathedral are the originally Gothic Upper Church from the XIV century, and the Lower Church from the XVII century. The originally Gothic Bishop's Palace got its present Late Baroque appearance in the XVIII century. There are also surviving parts of the castle fortifications, the majority of which were created in the XVI and XVII centuries and smaller part from the Middle Ages. The church is currently being remodeled.

NitraThe first church-rotunda consecrated in Nitra.

The so-called "mother of Slovak towns," Nitra not only served as the base of the first political entity on modern-day Slovak territory ruled by Slavs, but it also housed the area's first Christian church.

By the early IX century, a Slav named Pribina ruled the principality from Nitra, which was part of the greater Frankish kingdom. A confirmed pagan, Pribina nevertheless allowed the building and consecration of the church around 828. The main reasons probably had to do with Slavic-Frank politics - the Franks had set about Christianisation as a way to increase their power over the Slavs. (Some accounts cite a more romantic motivation: that Pribina welcomed the church as a gift to his Christian wife who hailed from Germany.) Here also stayed Cyril and Methodius.

St. Emmeram's Cathedral (Slovak: Bazilika svätého Emeráma) is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Nitra, Slovakia. The entire cathedral is housed in the Nitra Castle precinct, much like Prague Castle.

It was originally built in the Gothic style and is composed of many parts. The upper church dates from 1333-1355. The rotunda dates back to the XI-XII century and houses a silver reliquary made in 1674. Another reliquary in the cathedral houses some relics of Saint Cyril. The lower church was built between 1621-1642. Later on the entire cathedral complex was remodelled in the Baroque style.

NitraThe oldest part of this complex structure is the church-rotunda of the XI century, the rounded walls of which are visible, if you come to the cathedral from the eastern side of the altar. The original church doesn't exist anymore. But some sources claim that the rotunda stands on the site of the remains of the first church in Nitra (which was consecrated as the first church in Nitra on Pribina's call) and built on its similarity.


Lower, right is the coat of arms of Slovakia.

The coat of arms of Slovakia consists of a red (gules) shield, in early Gothic style, charged with a silver (argent) double cross standing on the middle peak of a dark blue mountain consisting of three peaks. Extremities of the cross are amplified, and its ends are concaved. The double cross is a symbol of its Christian faith and the hills represent three symbolic mountain ranges: Tatra, Fatra and Mátra (the last one is in northern Hungary).

One of the modern interpretations of the double cross is that it represents Slovakia as an heir and guardian of Christian tradition, brought to the region by St. Cyril and St. Methodius, two missionaries from the Byzantine Empire.

The main design is overprinted by part of a coral necklace dating from the IX century with a crescent-shaped bronze locket, which was found by archaelogists at Nitra-Lupky.

Denominations in numerals are on top and in lower left corner.


Engraver: Ron Beckers.

Designer: Academic artist Jozef Bubák.

In UV: "NBS" with denomination 20 underneath, in green fluorescent square at center, on front - vertical green flourescent serial number at upper left, green flourescent vertical lines at center left, also red, blue and yellow fibers.