header Notes Collection

20 Lari 2011, Georgia

in Krause book Number: 72c
Years of issue: 2011
Signatures: President of National Bank of Georgia: Giorgi Kadagidze (in office from 26.02.2009 till 16.03.2016), Minister of Finance: Kakha Baindurashvili (in office 06.02.2009 till 17.06.2011)
Serie: 1995 Issue
Specimen of: 1995
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 131 х 65
Printer: Giesecke und Devrient GmbH, Muenchen

* 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 Lari 2011



20 Lari 2011

Denomination 20. Abbreviation "GEL". The image of the griffin with lions body from the east wall of Samtavisi Cathedral.

20 Lari 2011Samtavisi (Georgian: სამთავისი) is an eleventh-century Georgian Orthodox cathedral in eastern Georgia, in the region of Shida Kartli, some 45 km. from the nation’s capital Tbilisi. The cathedral is now one of the centers of the Eparchy of Samtavisi and Gori of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

The cathedral is located on the left bank of the Lekhura River, some 11km of the town of Kaspi. According to a Georgian tradition, the first monastery on this place was founded by the Assyrian missionary Isidore in 572 and, later, rebuilt in the X century. Neither of these buildings has survived however. The earliest extant structures date to the eleventh century, the main edifice being built in 1030 as revealed by a now lost stone inscription. The cathedral was built by a local bishop and a skillful architect Hilarion who also authored the nearby church of Ashuriani. Heavily damaged by a series of earthquakes, the Cathedral was partially reconstructed in the XV and XIX centuries. The masterly decorated eastern façade is the only survived original structure.

The Samtavisi Cathedral is a rectangular 4-piered cruciform domed church. It illustrates a Georgian interpretation of the cross-in-square form which set an example for many churches built in the heyday of medieval Georgia. The exterior is distinguished by the liberal use of ornamental blind arcading. The apses do not project, but their internal position is marked by deep recesses in the wall. In contrast to earlier Georgian churches, the drum of the dome is taller surmounted by a conical roof. Artistically, the most rounded portion of the church is its five-arched eastern façade, dominated by the two niches and enlivened by a bold ornate cross motif.

Beyond the main church, the Samtavisi complex includes a badly damaged two-storied bishop’s residence, a small church (5.8 х 3.2 m.), and a three-storied belltower (5.7 х 7.3 m.) attached to the 3-5 m. high fence made of stone and brick. All these structures date to the XVII-XVIII centuries.


20 Lari 2011

20 Lari 2011

Prince Ilia Chavchavadze (Georgian: ილია ჭავჭავაძე; 8 November 1837 - 12 September 1907) was a Georgian writer, political figure, poet, and publisher who spearheaded the revival of the Georgian national movement in the second half of the 19th century, during the Russian rule of Georgia. He is Georgia's "most universally revered hero."

Inspired by the contemporary liberal movements in Europe, as a writer and a public figure, Chavchavadze directed much of his efforts toward awakening national ideals in Georgians and to the creation of a stable society in his homeland. His most important literary works were: The Hermit, The Ghost, Otaraant Widow, Kako The Robber, Happy Nation, Latters of a Traveller and Is a man a human?!. He was editor-in-chief of the periodicals "Sakartvelos Moambe" (1863-1877) and "Iveria" (1877-1905), and authored numerous articles for journals. He was a devoted protector of the Georgian language and culture from Russification. He is considered the main contributor of Georgian cultural nationalism. The three main ethnic markers of Georgian identity, according to Chavchavadze, consisted of territory, language, and Christianity. Despite this, his nationalism was secular.

Chavchavadze was fatally wounded in Tsitsamuri, outside Mtskheta, by a gang of assassins. His legacy earned him the broad admiration of the Georgian people. In 1987 he was canonized as Saint Ilia the Righteous (წმინდა ილია მართალი, tsminda ilia martali) by the Georgian Orthodox Church. Today, Georgians revere Chavchavadze as "The Uncrowned King" (უგვირგვინო მეფე, ugvirgvino mepe) and the "Father of Nation".

Lower, left, is an emblem of National Bank of Georgia. The main motive of emblem is Borjgali.


Borjgali (Georgian: ბორჯღალი; also Borjgala or Borjgalo) is a Georgian symbol of the Sun with seven rotating wings over the Christian Tree of Life and is related to the Mesopotamian symbols of eternity. It is usually depicted within the circle that symbolizes the Universe. The roots of the Tree go into the "past" and its palm-like branches are for the "future". The Tree itself symbolizes the continuity between past, present and the future. The Borjgali is usually placed above the tree and symbolizes the Sun, eternal movement and life.

The term Borjgali is believed to derive from Megrelian word ბარჩხალი ("barchkhali"), which literally means "strong shining". Some other scholars believe that it has different origins. In old Megrelian borj means "time" and gal means "pass" or "flow". So the whole phrase would mean "the flow of time".

20 Lari 2011 20 Lari 2011

On left side are the magazine "Sakartvelos Moambe" - on top, and "Iveria" - lower, (იბერია), founded by him and his personal belongings (kerosene lamp).

In 1863 I. Chavchavadze published the magazine "Herald of Georgia" ("Sakartvelos Moambe"), but after the twelfth issue the magazine was closed. "Herald of Georgia" ("Sakartvelos Moambe") was the first organ of the "sixtienants" ("Tergdaleulni").

In 1879-1885 he was the deputy chairman, and since 1887 - the chairman of the Society of literacy. In 1877-1902 - editor of the literary and political newspaper "Iveria", which upheld the right of the Georgian people on the national culture.

Denomination is in lower right corner.


20 Lari 2011

20 Lari 2011 20 Lari 2011

On foreground is the equestrian statue of Vakhtang I of Iberia (ვახტანგ I გორგასალმა).

In 1961, at the area in front of the temple Metekhi, on a rock, was embellished the equestrian statue of Vakhtang Gorgasali (sculptor E. Amashukeli, architects T. Kandelaki, DI Morbedadze, winners of a public competition in 1958).

This neighborhood is not accidental - it is the first Vakhtang strengthened the faith of the Georgian people, built churches and monasteries. And now is the king Vakhtang hand and makes the sign of Tbilisi, the main square of the old town of Meydan, and protects against the enemies of this holy land.

Vakhtang I Gorgasali (Georgian: ვახტანგ I გორგასალი) (c. 439 or 443 – 502 or 522), of the Chosroid dynasty, was a king of Iberia, natively known as Kartli (eastern Georgia) in the second half of the 5th and first quarter of the 6th century.

He led his people, in an ill-fated alliance with the Byzantine Empire, into a lengthy struggle against Sasanian Iranian hegemony, which ended in Vakhtang's defeat and weakening of the kingdom of Iberia. Tradition also ascribes him reorganization of the Georgian Orthodox Church and foundation of Tbilisi, Georgia's modern capital.

Dating Vakhtang's reign is problematic. Ivane Javakhishvili assigns to Vakhtang's rule the dates c. 449–502 while Cyril Toumanoff suggests the dates c. 447–522. Furthermore, Toumanoff identifies Vakhtang with the Iberian king Gurgenes known from Procopius' Wars of Justinian.

Vakhtang is a subject of the 8th or XI century vita attributed to Juansher, which intertwines history and legend into an epic narrative, hyperbolizing Vakhtang's personality and biography. This literary work has been a primary source of Vakhtang's image as an example warrior-king and statesman, which has preserved in popular memory to this day.

He emerged as one of the most popular figures in Georgia's history already in the Middle Ages and has been canonized by the Georgian Orthodox Church as The Holy and Right-Believing King Vakhtang (Georgian: წმინდა დიდმოწამე მეფე ვახტანგი) and is commemorated on November 30 (O.S.: December 13).

20 Lari 2011

On background, behind the statue, is a schematic map of Tbilisi, made in 1735. Author - Vakhushti Bagrationi, he is also the author of "History of Georgia". ( .rus).

Top, right, is the stylized sun.

20 Lari 2011On right side is a panorama of old Tbilisi – a composition of old Narikala.

The Holy Mountain Mtatsminda hosts the fragments of ancient Narikala fortress. It is the most known and ancient monument of Tbilisi 's antiquity; the townspeople call it "the heart and soul of the city". The date of construction of the fortress is the IV century AD, i.e. it has been there from the city's beginning. Later the fortress was extended and expanded several times. In the VII - XVIII centuries it was done by Arabs. By the way, the citadel in its modern condition is a vivid example of an Arabian fortification. In the XI – XII centuries it was the Mongols' turn. By the way, the initial name of the fortress was Shuris-Tsihe (the Enviable Fortress). And from the time of Mongolian invasion the fortress got the name Naryn Kala (from Turkic "naryn" - "small" and "kala" - "fortress"). Historians assert that Narikala standing on the Silk Road was the most fortified and impregnable of all in Tbilisi. In 1827 the fortress was destroyed by the earthquake and since then the citadel has not been restored completely. But the surviving stone towers of Narikala remain the silent witnesses of the ancient city's history. (

20 Lari 2011 20 Lari 2011 20 Lari 2011

The church, visible on banknote, is St. Nicholas church in Tbilisi (ეკლესია წმინდა ნიკოლოზის).

This Church has been "recently" restored. Newly built in 1996-1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of "prescribed cross" type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.

Located in the Narkala fortress complex, from here a lovely view towards Tbilisi is seen. (

Denomination is in lower left corner.


Security strip with microtext.

Designer: Georgian artist Nodar Malazonia.

Designer of Lari sign: professional artist-ceramist Malkhaz Shvelidze.