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500 Złotych 1974, Poland

in Krause book Number: 145a
Years of issue: 16.12.1974
Signatures: Prezes: Witold Bień, Glowny Scarbnik: Czesław Kamiński
Serie: 1974-1978 Issue
Specimen of: 16.12.1974
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 138 x 63
Printer: Polska Wytwornia Papierow Wartocziowych, Warszawa

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

500 Złotych 1974




Polish coat of arms.


500 Złotych 1974

Tadeusz Bonawentura Kosciuszko

The engraving on banknote is made after this portrait of Kościuszko by Karl Gottlieb Schweikart, apprx. in 1802. He is shown wearing the Eagle of the Society of the Cincinnati, awarded to him by Gen. Washington.

Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko (February 4 or 12, 1746 - October 15, 1817) was a Polish military engineer and a military leader who became a national hero in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and the United States. He fought in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's struggles against Russia and Prussia, and on the American side in the American Revolutionary War. As Supreme Commander of the Polish National Armed Forces, he led the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising.

Kościuszko was born in February 1746 in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, in a village that is now in Belarus; his exact birthdate is unknown. At the age of 20, he graduated from the Corps of Cadets in Warsaw, Poland, but after the outbreak of a civil war involving the Bar Confederation in 1768, Kościuszko moved to France in 1769 to pursue further studies. He returned to Poland in 1774, two years after its First Partition, and took a position as tutor in Józef Sylwester Sosnowski's household. After Kościuszko attempted to elope with his employer's daughter and was severely beaten by the father's retainers, he returned to France. In 1776, Kościuszko moved to North America, where he took part in the American Revolutionary War as a colonel in the Continental Army. An accomplished military architect, he designed and oversaw the construction of state-of-the-art fortifications, including those at West Point, New York. In 1783, in recognition of his services, the Continental Congress promoted him to brigadier general.

Returning to Poland in 1784, Kościuszko was commissioned a major general in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Army in 1789. Two years after the Polish-Russian War of 1792 had resulted in the Second Partition of Poland, he organized an uprising against Russia in March 1794, serving as its Naczelnik (Chief). Russian forces captured him at the Battle of Maciejowice in October 1794. The defeat of the Kościuszko Uprising that November led to the Third Partition in 1795, which ended Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's independent existence for 123 years. In 1796, following the death of Tsaritsa Catherine the Great, Kościuszko was pardoned by her successor Tsar Paul I and emigrated to the United States. A close friend of Thomas Jefferson, with whom he shared ideals of human rights, Kościuszko wrote a will in 1798 dedicating his American assets to the education and freedom of U.S. slaves. He eventually returned to Europe and lived in Switzerland until his death in 1817. The execution of his will later proved difficult and the funds were never used for the purpose he had intended.


The Coat of arms of the Polish People's Republic (1955-1980).

The White Eagle (Polish: Orzeł Biały) is the national coat of arms of Poland. It is a stylized white eagle with a golden beak and talons, and wearing a golden crown, in a red shield.

After World War II, the communist authorities of the Polish People's Republic removed the "reactionary" royal crown from the eagle's head. Still, Poland was one of the few countries in the Eastern Bloc with no communist symbols (red stars, ears of wheat, hammers, etc.) on either its flag or its coat of arms. The crownless design was approved by resolution in 1955. To counter that, the Polish government in Exile introduced a new emblem with a cross added atop the crown.

The White Eagle emblem originated when Poland's legendary founder Lech saw a white eagle's nest. When he looked at the bird, a ray of sunshine from the red setting sun fell on its wings, so they appeared tipped with gold, the rest of the eagle was pure white. He was delighted and decided to settle there and placed the eagle on his emblem. He also named the place Gniezdno (currently Gniezno) from the Polish word gniazdo ("nest").

Denomination in numeral is in lower left corner, in top right corner in numeral and in words.


500 Złotych 1974

Banner Kosciuszko

Banner with the motto of Kościuszko.

They feed and Arms (originally Żywią i Bronią) - motto of scythebearers from the time of the Kosciuszko Insurrection, visible on their banners. Banner with the motto was given to the branch of Krakow scythebearers by Kosciuszko at 16 of August 1794, and is now in the collections of the Museum of the Polish Army in Warsaw.

The expression refers to the social role of the peasants. To establish a password that later symbolism of peasant movements. In the nineteenth century it appeared on the banners of the uprising, postcards patriotic and embroidered Climes, was used by the popular movement as a sign of communion with the patriotic and pro-independence tradition and an expression of beliefs about the special role of farmers in society. They feed and defend the title he wore the official newsletter of the Peasant Battalions underground.

On the left side is the coat of arms of scythe-bearers from the time of the Kosciuszko Insurrection.

Monogram of Polish Peoples Bank is in lower right corner.

Denomination in numeral is in top right corner, in lower left corner in numeral and in words.


Designer: Andrzej Heidrich.

Engraver: Barbara Kowalska.