header Notes Collection

20 Zlotych 2016, Poland

in Krause book Number: 174
Years of issue: 07.03.2017
Edition: --
Signatures: Prezes: Adam Glapinski, Glowny Scarbnik: Marek Oles
Serie: Modification 2016
Specimen of: 15.09.2016
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 126 x 63
Printer: Polska Wytwornia Papierow Wartocziowych, Warszawa

* 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 Zlotych 2016




Bolesław I Chrobry. Denomination in numeral.


20 Zlotych 2016

Boleslaw I Chrobry

The engraving on banknote is based after this portrait of Bolesław I by polish painter Jan Matejko, date of portrait - between 1890 and 1892.

Bolesław I Chrobry (Bolesław I "the Valiant" or the Brave) (Boleslav Chrabrý) (967 - 17 June 1025), in the past also known as Bolesław I the Great (Wielki), was a Duke of Poland from 992-1025 and the first King of Poland from 18 April 1025 until his death. He also ruled as Boleslav IV, Duke of Bohemia from 1002 to 1003.

Boleslaw I Chrobry

He was the firstborn son of Mieszko I by his Czech first wife, Dobrawa, daughter of Boleslav I the Cruel, Duke of Bohemia and named after his maternal grandfather.

Bolesław I was a remarkable politician, strategist, and statesman. He turned Poland into a country that was not only comparable to older western monarchies, but also elevated it into the European elite. Bolesław conducted successful military campaigns in the west, south and east. He consolidated the Polish lands and conquered territories outside of modern borders of Poland such as Slovakia, Moravia, Red Ruthenia, Meissen and Lusatia as well as Bohemia. He was a powerful mediator in Central European affairs.

Bolesław was an ally of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III who may have crowned him rex. Following the death of Otto III in 1002, he carried out a series of successful wars against the Holy Roman Empire and Otto III's cousin and heir Henry II, ending with the Peace of Bautzen in 1018. In the summer of 1018, in one of his most famous expeditions, Bolesław captured Kiev, where, according to legend, he notched his sword when hitting Kiev's Golden Gate. Later a sword called Szczerbiec ("Notched Sword") would become the ceremonial sword used at the coronation of Poland's kings.

Boleslaw I Chrobry Boleslaw I Chrobry

Bolesław also managed to establish a Polish church structure with a Metropolitan See at Gniezno, independent of the German Archbishopric of Magdeburg, which had tried to lay claim to Polish areas. During the famous Congress of Gniezno he officially freed himself of tribute to the Holy Roman Empire and finally, at the peak of his reign, he had himself crowned as King, the first Polish ruler to do so.

He was an able administrator; he established the so-called "Prince's law" and built many forts, churches, monasteries and bridges. Bolesław established the first Polish monetary system, of a grzywna divided into 240 denarii, and minted his own coinage. He is widely considered one of the most capable and accomplished of the Piast rulers.

Polish coat of arms is centered.


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.

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").

On the right side is a plastic window with a crown and 4 denominations in numerals 20, under are stylized oak branches.

Lower left is a Braille symbol for the visually impaired (a circle).

Denomination in numeral is on the left side and in top right corner, in words also on the left side.


20 Zlotych 2016


The coin - silver denarius of Boleslaw, which had circulated in times of Bolesław I Chrobry.

During the Early and High Middle Ages denarius got a lot of local names (pfennig, penny deniers and others), it was almost the only silver coin of Christian Europe.

For a long time it was believed that the bird depicted on the coin - a white eagle - the symbol of royal power. Recent work by Professor S. Sukhodolskiy proved that this is the peacock, in the Christian tradition signifying resurrection and eternal life. The professor associates this image with St. Adalbert.

rotunda rotunda

Left from denarius are medieval towers of Romanesque rotunda (chapel) of St. Nicolas and St. Wenceslaus in Cieszyn, Poland.

The structure is the older of two known examples of a hillfort chapel in the form of rotunda, modelled on Early-Romanesque religious architecture of Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland. At the same time, it is one of the oldest church buildings in the country. Its historical, artistic, and scientific value lies in its well-preserved XI-century form, including its complete structure, the floor plan, and the wall and ceiling construction.

It is assumed that the rotunda was constructed c. in the mid-11th century as an element of a hillfort which functioned as an observation point and the seat of a castellan. At the end of the XIII century, the hillfort became the seat of the Cieszyn Piasts and their successors. From the very beginning, the rotunda functioned as a hillfort chapel combined with the seat of the hillfort’s leader. It was also a local centre of church administration and a parish church. Its original design, approximating the present form, is associated with Bohemian influences. It is also known that there has been a matroneum inside the chapel since the very beginning. Until the 14th century, i.e. the time of the construction of a Gothic castle, the rotunda was the only structure in the hillfort which was made of stone, which suggests that it may have been the most important point of resistence of the hillfort garrison in times of war. In the XIV century, the structure was incorporated into the castle fortification system. In the same period, the chapel underwent minor alterations. The hill was levelled out; the level of the flooring inside the rotunda was raised and the window openings in the apse were modified. However, the form and function of the chapel remained basically unchanged until the 19th century, despite the fact that the town ceased to be a hillfort of dukes in the mid-XVII century; there was only an administration unit of the Habsburg Teschener Kammer on the former castle hill. There are assumptions, backed up with images of the rotunda from c. 1720 and views of the town from the early 19th century, that starting from the XVII century, the conical roof of the chapel may have been surmounted by a lantern. It was only in the 2nd quarter of the 19th century that the chapel was modified substantially in connection with the dismantling of the Medieval castle buildings, another levelling-out stage, and modifications to the character of the hill. The rotunda was buried in earth more or less to half its height. The visible part was given a new, Neoclassical character, reminiscent of a newly-erected hunting lodge designed by Joseph Kornhäusel. In 1941, German restoration and maintenance authorities commenced the first architectural and archaeological works at the site. The exterior and interior plaster, which had been applied at some later stage, was peeled off and the original flooring level was uncovered. Starting from 1947, the works were continued by Polish specialists. In the years 1950-1955, restoration works aimed at the reconstruction of the original, Romanesque appearance of the chapel were carried out.

The chapel is situated in the south-western part of Góra Zamkowa (Castle Mountain) in Cieszyn, in the immediate vicinity of the so-called Piast Tower and remains of a 14th-century castle. It is an oriented Romanesque chapel built of armour stone faced with cut limestone. It consists of a high, round nave covered with a conical roof of wood shingles and a lower, semi-circular apse with a similar roof, adjoining the nave on the east side. The entrance to the chapel, located on the west side, is accentuated by a stone, round-arched portal. The interior of the nave, covered with a dome made of rows of concentrically arranged stones bonded by lime mortar, is lit by two (originally - probably four) Romanesque double-splay window openings located in the upper parts of the walls. On the north side, there are a walled-up Romanesque portal and a small window opening. In the western part of the nave, there is a stone matroneum supported by two columns and four engaged columns with bases of the Attic type, covered with a groin vault and communicated by means of straight stairs partially embedded in the thick wall and a bay window; it was reconstructed on the basis of preserved sections. Three steps lead from the nave to the altar apse, separated by means of an arch embedded in the wall and a slight wall bend. The interior of the apse, covered with a spherical conch, is lit by two small, Romanesque, splay windows, between which there is a niche where there used to be another window opening, headed by a segmental arch, made in the XIX century. In the southern part of the apse arch, there is a small wall niche intended for storing holy oils and three round holes for extinguishing candles, and in the apse, there is an altar stone.

The historic monument is accessible. It can be visited during the opening hours of the Piast Tower. (

Lion Lion

Right of the coin is lion, as a decoration, rampant on floral osier. This lion is on the left part of Gniezno Doors, on the level of door handle.

The Gniezno Doors (Polish: Drzwi Gnieźnieńskie) are a pair of bronze doors at the entrance to Gniezno Cathedral in Gniezno, Poland, a Gothic building which the doors pre-date, having been carried over from an earlier building. They are decorated with eighteen scenes in bas-relief from the life of St. Adalbert, or Wojciech in Polish, whose remains had been bought for their weight in gold, and carried back to the cathedral and set up in a shrine there. They were made in about 1175 during the reign of Mieszko III the Old and are one of the most significant works of Romanesque art in Poland.


The value of Gniezno in the development of Poland can not be exaggerated. Through this city were the most important trade routes, it was here that the Slavic tribes were united, the first stronghold of the Christian faith in Poland, the archbishopric, appeared in this same village. Trade was conducted with Kievan Rus and the countries of the East, as well as with Germany and other European kingdoms. At the end of the XVIII century the city became a Prussian possession, only since 1918 he again became part of Poland.

Denominations in numerals are in top right and lower left corners, lower right also in words.


Designer: Andrzej Heidrich.