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50 Korun 1993, Slovakia

in Krause book Number: 21a
Years of issue: 01.08.1993
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): 135 × 68
Printer: British American Bank Note Co. Ltd., Ottawa

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50 Korun 1993




Saint Cyril.


50 Korun 1993

50 Korun 1993Saints Cyril and Methodius (826-869, 815-885; Greek: Κύριλλος καὶ Μεθόδιος; Old Church Slavonic: Кѷриллъ и Меѳодїи) were two Byzantine Christian theologians and Christian missionaries who were brothers. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title "Apostles to the Slavs". They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic. After their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Orthodox Church as saints with the title of "equal-to-apostles". In 1880, Pope Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia.

In 862, the brothers began the work which would give them their historical importance. That year Prince Rastislav of Great Moravia requested that Emperor Michael III and the Patriarch Photius send missionaries to evangelize his Slavic subjects. His motives in doing so were probably more political than religious. Rastislav had become king with the support of the Frankish ruler Louis the German, but subsequently sought to assert his independence from the Franks. It is a common misconception that Cyril and Methodius were the first to bring Christianity to Moravia, but the letter from Rastislav to Michael III states clearly that Rastislav's people "had already rejected paganism and adhere to the Christian law."

Rastislav is said to have expelled missionaries of the Roman Church and instead turned to Constantinople for ecclesiastical assistance and, presumably, a degree of political support. The Emperor quickly chose to send Cyril, accompanied by his brother Methodius. The request provided a convenient opportunity to expand Byzantine influence. Their first work seems to have been the training of assistants. In 863, they began the task of translating the Bible into the language now known as Old Church Slavonic and travelled to Great Moravia to promote it. They enjoyed considerable success in this endeavour. However, they came into conflict with German ecclesiastics who opposed their efforts to create a specifically Slavic liturgy.

For the purpose of this mission, they devised the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet to be used for Slavonic manuscripts. The Glagolitic alphabet was suited to match the specific features of the Slavic language. Its descendant script, the Cyrillic, is still used by many languages today.

They wrote the first Slavic Civil Code, which was used in Great Moravia. The language derived from Old Church Slavonic, known as Church Slavonic, is still used in liturgy by several Orthodox Churches and also in some Eastern Catholic churches.

It is impossible to determine with certainty what portions of the Bible the brothers translated. The New Testament and the Psalms seem to have been the first, followed by other lessons from the Old Testament. The "Translatio" speaks only of a version of the Gospels by Cyril, and the "Vita Methodii" only of the "evangelium Slovenicum," though other liturgical selections may also have been translated.

Nor is it known for sure which liturgy, that of Rome or that of Constantinople, they took as a source. They may well have used the Roman alphabet, as suggested by liturgical fragments which adhere closely to the Latin type. This view is confirmed by the "Prague Fragments" and by certain Old Glagolitic liturgical fragments brought from Jerusalem to Kiev and discovered there by Saresnewsky, probably the oldest document for the Slavonic tongue; these adhere closely to the Latin type, as is shown by the words "Mass," "Preface," and the name of one Felicitas. In any case, the circumstances were such that the brothers could hope for no permanent success without obtaining the authorization of Rome.

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


50 Korun 1993

50 Korun 1993 50 Korun 1993The motif on the back side of the banknote illustrates two hands, with the first seven letters of the old Slavonic alphabet "Hlaholika" between them, as a symbol of the gift the two saints brought to the ancient Slavs.

The Glagolitic alphabet (Ⰳⰾⰰⰳⱁⰾⰻⱌⰰ Glagolitsa) is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. It was created in the 9th century by Saint Cyril, a Byzantine monk from Thessaloniki. He and his brother, Saint Methodius, were sent by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III in 863 to Great Moravia to spread Christianity among the Slavs in the area. The brothers decided to translate liturgical books into the Old Slavic language that was understandable to the general population, but as the words of that language could not be easily written by using either the Greek or Latin alphabets, Cyril decided to invent a new script, Glagolitic, which he based on the language of the Macedonian Slavs from the Thessaloniki region.

After the deaths of Cyril and Methodius, the Glagolitic alphabet ceased to be used in Moravia, but their students continued to propagate it in the west and south. The Glagolitic alphabet was preserved only by the Croats, using it from the 12th to the 20th century, mostly in liturgy.

50 Korun 1993 The symmetrically reversed silhouette of the medieval church at Drazovce (District of Nitra) symbolizes the dawn of Christianity in Slovakia.

Dražovský kostolík (officially the Church of St. Michael the Archangel) is one of the oldest churches in Slovakia, dating from the XI century, located at Dražovce (now part of Nitra). It is a typical early Romanesque architecture single nave building with thick enclosure walls and small roundish apse. It is no longer used. Research from 1947 and 1948 discovered 55 graves around the church.

One of the most well-known Romanesque buildings in Slovakia stands on a small area of chalk rock above the village Dražovce. The small church consists of a rectangular even ceiling nave, a low apse vaulted by a half-dome and a slim pyramidal tower dominating the western gallery. It represents the oldest layer of rural sacral architecture on the territory of Slovakia. The small but simple building devoted to the archangel Michael has gone through not a smooth development - main phases date back from the XI till the XIII century. The church was erected at the site of an older church that had almost identical ground plan but was a bit smaller. The predecessor originated in the 2nd half of the XI century the latest and at that time there used to be a graveyard in the vicinity. It is unknown to us when and why it disappeared. The new church built up apparently only shortly afterwards respected its original disposition. Into a great extent, it has created outer walls of the preserved building till today. During the following construction adjustments, the nave together with the apse was extended. Apse decoration of brick roof frieze was added. Moreover, windows were adjusted and the tower was also extended. Surprisingly, recent research works have uncovered that the additional element in the church architecture is the gallery which had long been considered to be its original part. It was built in the western part of the church probably as late as in the XIII century which caused the development of the church disposition cease. The oldest design of the gallery consisted of a ground part open into the nave by three arcades on tetragonal pillars. On the upper floor, there used to be a central wall broken by an arcade and a wooden balustrade. Similarly designed galleries are important parts of the whole range of Romanesque churches.

Dražovce church is also depicted on the Slovak postage stamp of the highest face-value. (


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 50 underneath, in blue fluorescent square at center, on front - vertical blue flourescent serial number at upper left, blue flourescent vertical lines at center left, also red, blue and yellow fibers.