header Notes Collection

50 Latu 1992, Latvia

in Krause book Number: 46
Years of issue: 02.05.1994
Signatures: Bank Governor: Einars Repše
Serie: 1992 Issue
Specimen of: 1992
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 130 x 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.

50 Latu 1992



50 Latu 1992

Latvian girl in national headdress - Milda. Allegory of Latvia.


50 Latu 1992

The stylized oak leaves that are viewed through.

On top are 3 Braille dots for visually impaired.

50 Latu 1992 50 Latu 1992

Centered is the traditional Latvian sail ship (buru kuģis).

Today the Latvian Shipping Company fleet consists mainly of tankers. But a hundred years ago, the main driving force of Latvia's merchant fleet was the wind. The fleet began with the wooden sailing ships. Almost a hundred years, they went into the sea and reach the most remote points of the world's oceans. Sailing fleet laid the foundation in the tradition of seafaring in Latvia. The most significant period of construction of sailboats and sailing navigation in Latvia was the second half of the XIX and early XX century, when in the coastal villages of Livonia (Vidzeme) and Courland (Kurzeme) was launched about 550 two, three and four-masted so-called gaff schooners and barquentine operators transporting goods to different parts of the world. Since the first half of the XIX century sailing vessels built by locals, walked along the coast of Latvia to the wood, and agricultural commodities. Sailors manage without special education. With the development of trade and the increase in the volume of goods transported increased demand for ships, as well as on the professional crews that can manage not only sailing vessels in the waters of Europe, but travel to other continents. In Riga and Liepaja was organized training of qualified captains and navigators, but the training was paid and was in German, so these institutions to residents of coastal villages were inaccessible.

A prominent representative of the movement Young Latvians and maritime affairs popularizer Krišjānis Valdemārs (1825-1891) called for the construction of nautical schools for the local population and the construction of sailing vessels in deep-water coastal villages. On his initiative in 1864 free nautical school with instruction in the Latvian language was opened in the town of Ainaži. Natives of peasant and fishing families had the opportunity to become professional sailors. In 1867, Russia adopted a law on the nautical schools of a new type, and in the territory of Latvia to Ainaži school joined another ten, which is popularly called "colleges of Valdemārs". By the end of the XIX century in those schools most democratic type received diplomas 3,000 captains and navigators long and short sea shipping.

Simultaneously with the creation of the National School of training of seafarers in the coastal towns of Latvia unfolded construction of sailing ships long voyage. The largest number of sailing vessels was launched in the villages Upesgriva, Ainazi, Kaltene. For the construction of a new sailing ship usually means combined several of the most well-off villagers. The construction was carried out in a rich forest areas in the labor force brought the local population. Supervised master shipbuilder. Similarly, following the scale, it is made half-model of hull vessel of the future and a simplified layout, and select the appropriate timber. The ship was built in a specially selected location in the dunes directly on the beach. The descent finished housing a lot of people took part in the water. Construction of the vessel was completed in the port, often in Riga, where it received the mast and sails.

The most common in Latvia were three-masted gaff schooner length of 25-40 meters and a capacity of 150-400 tons. The largest number of sailing ships were built in the period from 1900 to 1904. In 1902 alone, the Latvian fleet joined 33 new deep-water sailing. In general, in Livonia it was built more than 200 ships in Courland - about 300. The largest sailing ship built in Latvia, which was also the first four-masted sailing ship in the Russian Empire, was launched in 1891 in the village of Ainazi barquentine Andreas Weide. Its capacity was 572 brutto tons (GRT) and 544 netto tons (NRT). Most small sailing vessel that transferred the entire Atlantic Ocean, was built in 1902, "Monitor" (136 BRT / 108 NRT).

sailing routes became more and more distant, Latvian wooden boats and their captains have gained international fame. Launched in 1864 gaff schooner "Katarina" reached the port of Ghent, located on the shores of the North Sea. Income, which brought the sailboat, showed the profitability of these flights. Regular trips to the White became the ports of the North Sea and the Mediterranean. Each year in the European waters to be found about 170 sailing ships built in the dunes of Kurzeme and Livonian coast. Since 1870 Latvian sailboats began regularly cross the Atlantic. In the period from 1870 to 1910 along the shores of America annually floated about 50 sailing ships, launched in the coastal towns of Latvia. They also went to the African ports. Gaff schooner barquentine and transporting timber, coal, tar, salt, agricultural products, cork, cement, brick, herring, sugar, coffee, cocoa, rum, spices and other goods.

The development of navigation changed the face of the coastal towns and the living standards of the local population. Shipowners have become wealthy, shipbuilding participants received additional income and were able to expand their farms. Many people from coastal villages have become professional sailors and traveled to distant lands.

From 1905-1906 the number of years of sailing ships began to decrease, as they could not resist coming competitors - steamers. Sailing Fleet, was born in the coastal towns of Latvia, almost destroyed the First World War. The Merchant Navy of the Republic of Latvia was dominated by steamboats, sailboats is mainly carried out cabotage. Built in 1924 in the village of Upesgriva sailboat "Daina" and four-masted motor vessel "Eurasia" (Prientsiems, 1925) were the last seagoing wooden ships built on the coast of Latvia. In 1933, Eurasia collapsed and the Latvian glorious era of sailing fleet finally gone. ( .rus)

Lielvarde Belt

On right side is Latvian national ornament, taken after Lielvarde Belt.

The Lielvārde belt is regarded as an outstanding example of a hand-woven adornment, a two-colored (red, white), patterned combination with the middle or the edges interwoven with a green or, more rarely, blue or purple thread, and with a variable motif (geometric pattern). Historically, its geographic distribution was Jumprava, Kastrāne, Krape, Laubere, Lēdmane, Lielvārde, Madliena, Meņģele, and Rembate parishes. Although traditional belts from elsewhere in the country stand out with their rich ornamentation, only the Lielvārde belt has become the basis for a modern myth of the belt’s very ancient origins, the cosmic code that is written into it, and its special powers of protection. In Latvian contemporary culture, the Lielvārde belt leads its own independent, symbolic existence in people’s consciousness and its motifs are often used in contemporary culture.

This independent life began with director Ansis Epners’s documentary "Lielvārdes josta" (The Lielvārde Belt; 1980) whose script was written by Estonian graphic artist Tenu Vint. Comparing the Lielvārde belt ornamentation with other national and cultural patterns, Vint raised the hypothesis that this belt had preserved the information code of an ancient civilization; that the story of the universe was inscribed therein. A German mystic and healer by the name of Dina Ries, encouraged by Latvian Rasma Rozīte, "read" the belt’s ancient information in 1986. The Lielvārde belt was one of the most powerful symbols in the years of Latvian national awakening movement in the late 1980s and has not lost its importance even today.

The information that ornamented belts in antiquity were not used only as a personal adornment but also served to protect the wearer is found in a number of traditions, although that does not necessarily mean that the Lielvārde belt must have been a part of, for instance, a priest’s clothing. The scenario for the origins of the Universe read into the belt; the belt as a meditative system; as a yet untested piece of knowledge of the Universe may or may not be true: much will depend on what and how we want to see. One thing is more or less clear, however: it is the Lielvārde belt that possesses a mythical power far beyond that of other belts and it is not because of the technology used in making it or because of its complicated patterns or beautiful colors, but because of its powerful symbolism.

Māras krusts

The base of ornament consist if traditional squares, which named Māras krusts (The cross of Mara, also the cross of crosses).

The symbol of perfection and fertility. Mara is a protector of health, custodian of women and supplier of bread. Protects against evil spirits. (Māras zīme latv.)

Denominations in numerals are in bottom left and top right corners. Lower left in words.


50 Latu 1992

50 Latu 1992 50 Latu 1992

On background is the medieval fortifications plan for Riga.

Urban strengthening of Riga is a system of defenses and fortifications of Riga, established in XIII-XVIII centuries. In the middle of the XIX century it was demolished by the decision of the Russian administration, but some elements of the town fortress survived. Some elements of the fortress were reconstructed. They are now part of the architectural and historical complex of the Old Town.

50 Latu 1992

The first elements of Riga's defensive system mentioned in 1207 in the Livonian Chronicle. Apparently, we are talking about the Palisades, which took place around the perimeter of the so-called first part of the city. It included the city market and stone medieval residence of the German feudal lords, subdued the inhabitants of East baltic trade settlements during the Livonian Crusade. Soon, a new brick fortress wall was built after the establishment of the first palisades line in their place with 1207 on 1209 years, which protected the trading fortress, passing through the streets Zirgu, Rosena, Seldjanaja (later Gospodskaja, now Kungu), Greshnaja (Grecinieku), Janja (Ioanovskaja). It preserved a small fragment of a medieval fortress wall on a modern street Ministrejas. Shortly after the expansion of the area of ​​urban fortification was extended along the embankment of the River Daugava, and passed along Jauniela. In it are included the settlement of local residents, predominantly pagan Balts and Liv merchants and artisans.

During archaeological excavations the beginning of the 1960s, which was led by archaeologist Tatiana Ilinichna Pavele remains of the ancient ramparts, founded by German crusaders in the initial stage of the conquest of Riga were found between the streets Tirgonu and Rosen, simultaneously with Riga wine cellar, which existed at the same location of the Old city.

50 Latu 1992

On foreground are the keys and cross from the Riga's coat of arms.

It is known that between circa 1225-1226 AD and circa 1330-1340, city walls with opened gates and two towers, with crossed staves between them, were displayed on the city’s coat of arms. The walls with gates were a widely used heraldic element in the coats of arms of medieval towns, symbolizing the independence, importance and power of the city. The keys are usually interpreted as being those to purgatory and heaven and symbolized St Peter’s patronage of the city, while the crossed staves represented the power of the bishop within the city. In 1347 a new stamp press was prepared for the Riga city council in which changes to the coat of arms can be seen. Elements from the previous version such as the walls with the raised gates and the keys remain, however their location has changed. The cross of the Order, symbolizing the Order’s dominance in the city, replaced the crossed staves. A new element was added, a lion within the raised gates, indicating the stout heartedness and ever increasing independence of the city’s inhabitants.

In 1554 a new heraldic element was added to Riga’s coat of arms – the lions, the upholders of the shield of the coat of arms.

In 1656 the city earned the right to include the crown of the Swedish king in the coat of arms, as an expression of gratitude for the heroic defense of the city during the siege by the Russians.

Tsaritza Catherine II approved Riga’s coat of arms in 1788 after the city was incorporated into the Russian Empire following the Great Northern War. The shield-holding lions were exchanged for the double-headed eagle, the symbol of the Russian Empire, while the crown of the Swedish king was exchanged for that of the Russian Emperor.

On 31 October 1925, Riga obtained a coat approved by the State President. Its description was as follows: “Red brick walls on a silver background with two towers and raised gates in which a gold lion’s head is displayed, and on the upper part of the shield between the towers and beneath a gold crown stand crossed gold paws and two crossed black keys. The shield holders are two golden lions with red tongues and turned heads on two grey cornices supported by a stylized leaf.”

Under Soviet rule little attention was paid to the city’s symbols, and in fact the Riga coat of arms was only approved on 15 February 1967 (the rules of heraldry were not observed in its design.) The coat of arms includes a red star, the Soviet symbol of power, Riga’s foundation year “1201” was placed inside the gates in place of the lions, and the foundations for shield were the colours of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic flag. (

Latvian coat of arms is in bottom right corner.

coat coat

The image of the golden rising sun with 11 wide wavy rays, between which there were 10 narrow wavy rays, was also placed in the azure upper half of the shield of the State Emblem of the Republic of Latvia, approved on June 16, 1921 by the Constitutional (Constituent) Assembly of Latvia, the draft of which was created by the returnee from Petrograd by the graphic artist Rihards Germanovich Zariņš, together with Vilis Krūmiņš, (the artist himself signed "Zarrinsh" in Russian, Rihards Zariņš, 1869-1939), who until 1917 held the position of technical and artistic director of the Expedition of Preparing State Papers (EZGB ) Of the Russian Empire and the Provisional Government (according to his projects, banknotes and postage stamps of the All-Russian Provisional Government were issued in 1905-1917).

The lower half of the shield of the Latvian coat of arms was cut, in the right silver field was depicted a wormy rebellious lion from the historical coat of arms of Courland and Semigale, symbolizing Kurzeme and Zemgale, and a silver griffin from the historical coat of arms of Livonia, symbolizing Vidzeme and Latgale.

Above the shield, three golden five-pointed stars were depicted in an arc of a circle, touching each other with two rays, symbolizing the unity of the three historical parts of Latvia - Kurzeme and Zemgale, Vidzeme and Latgale. ( .ru)

Denominations in numerals are in bottom left corner and on the top, centered. Top left in words.


Designers: silkscreen specialist Valdis Ošiņš and architect Imants Žodžiks.