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100 Francs 1948, Belgium

in Krause book Number: 126b
Years of issue: 14.04.1948
Signatures: Le Tresorier: Georges Pirsoul (in office 1947-03-15 – 1953-06-30), Le Gouverneur: Maurice Frère (in office 1944-11-07 – 1957-08-08)
Serie: The Dynasty
Specimen of: 03.01.1945
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 160 х 80
Printer: Belgian Nationalbank, Brussels

* 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.

100 Francs 1948



100 Francs 1965

HM The King Leopold I. About king, please, read the obverse description!


100 Francs 1948

Leopold I

The engraving on banknote is made after this painting by Belgian painter Nicaise de Keyser, made in 1856.

Leopold I (French: Léopold Ier, German and Dutch: Leopold I;[a] 16 December 1790 in Coburg – 10 December 1865 in Laeken) was a German prince who became the first King of the Belgians following the country's independence in 1830. He reigned between July 1831 and December 1865.

Born into the ruling family of the small German duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Leopold took a commission in the Imperial Russian Army and fought against Napoleon after French troops overran Saxe-Coburg during the Napoleonic Wars. After Napoleon's defeat, Leopold moved to the United Kingdom where he married Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only child of the Prince Regent (the future King George IV), thus situating himself as close as possible to the future sovereign of the United Kingdom. Charlotte died in 1817, but Leopold continued to enjoy considerable status in Britain.

After the Greek War of Independence (1821-1832), Leopold was offered the crown of Greece but turned it down, believing it to be too precarious. Instead, Leopold accepted the kingship of the newly established Kingdom of Belgium in 1831. The Belgian government offered the position to Leopold because of his diplomatic connections with royal houses across Europe. In addition, because he was seen as a British-backed candidate, he was not affiliated to other powers, such as France, which were believed to have territorial ambitions in Belgium which might threaten the European balance of power created by the 1815 Congress of Vienna.

Leopold took his oath as King of the Belgians on 21 July 1831, an event commemorated annually as Belgian National Day. His reign was marked by attempts by the Dutch to recapture Belgium and, later, by internal political division between liberals and Catholics. As a Protestant, Leopold was considered liberal and encouraged economic modernisation, playing an important role in encouraging the creation of Belgium's first railway in 1835 and subsequent industrialisation. As a result of the ambiguities in the Belgian Constitution, Leopold was able to slightly expand the monarch's powers during his reign. He also played an important role in stopping the spread of the Revolutions of 1848 into Belgium. He died in 1865 and was succeeded by his son, Leopold II.

Place Royale

On banknote are - The Place Royale in Brussels, where the first King of the Belgians was sworn in on 21 July 1831, also the Church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg. The view of 1830s.

On my photo of 1860 the pedestrian statue of Godfrey of Bouillon is visible (was installed in second half of XIX century).

The Place Royale (French, "Royal Square") or Koningsplein (Dutch, "King's Square") is a historic square near the center of Brussels, Belgium.

The square itself is built on the former site of the Baliënplein, which was the main market square adjacent to the former palace of Coudenberg. The palace burned down, however, during a fire that took much of the original royal complex on the night of February 3, 1731. Construction of the new buildings around the square took from 1773 to 1780, using the design of French architect Barnabé Guimard, who received that commission in 1769. The square is almost an exact replica of the Place Royale in Reims.

During the Belgian Revolution in 1830, a barricade was erected across the eastern exit of the square next to the current BELvue Museum, facing the Brussels Park. Two cannon were also positioned on it.

In 1831, the coronation of King Leopold I, Belgium's first king, was held in the place. The funerals of King Leopold III and Prince Charles, prince-regent between 1944 and 50, were also held in the square.

Place Royale, fronted by the Church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg.

The principal building on the square is the Church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg, consecrated in 1787, and designed by Barré and Guimard. On the western side of the square is the main building of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, next to the Magritte Museum while on the south-east side is the BELvue Museum. At the center of Place Royale is a statue of Godfrey of Bouillon, the leader of the first crusade in 1096, riding on horseback. It was sculpted by Eugène Simonis in 1848 to replace the statue of Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine that had been melted down for the metal during the French Revolution. Rue de Namur/Naamsestraat enters the square from the south, rue de la Régence/Regentschapstraat from the southwest, and Mont des Arts from the northwest.

(Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg)

Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg (French) or Sint-Jacob-op-Koudenberg (Dutch) is a neoclassical church located in the historic square of Place Royale in central Brussels, Belgium.

The medieval abbey church that originally stood on this location was demolished by command of Charles Alexander of Lorraine during his expansive urban planning projects, despite having escaped the great fire of 1731 that destroyed the nearby Coudenberg Palace. The new church was built in line with rue Montagne de la Cour/Hofberg on its present location at the Place Royale. Construction of the facade was started by architect Gilles-Barnabé Guimard after the designs of Jean-Benoît-Vincent Barré (1775). The first stone was solemnly laid by Charles Alexander of Lorraine on February 12, 1776. The portico was finished in 1780. The nave, transept, choir and sacristy were built under supervision of Louis Montoyer in the years 1785-1786. After the consecration of the building it was in use as abbey- and parishchurch at the same time. Moreover, it was the official church of the court of the Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands. The present building was designed to serve as the Church of the Abbey of Saint-Jacques on the Coudenberg and therefore has a deep extended choir with place for choir stalls for the monks.

During the French Revolution, the abbey was suspended and the church was made into a Temple of Reason, and then later into a Temple of Law. The church was returned to Catholic control in 1802. On July 21, 1831, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha took the oath that made him H.M. Leopold I, the first King of the Belgians, on the front steps of the church. The building lost somewhat of its typical neoclassical temple-like appearance by the addition in the 19th-century of a bell tower (after the design of Tilman-François Suys) and a coloured fresco by Jean Portaels on the pediment.

On right and left sides are the ears of wheat.

Denominations in numerals are in lower corners, in words at the top, centered.


100 Francs 1948

Joyeuse entrée

On banknote is the "Joyeuse entrée" of Leopold I. The engraving after the lithography of Belgian artist Gustave Adolphe Simoneau from issue "Histoire Parlementaire de la Belgique de 1831 a 1880".

A Joyous Entry (Blijde Intrede, Blijde Inkomst, or Blijde Intocht in Dutch, Joyeuse Entrée in French) is the official name used for the ceremonial royal entry - the first official peaceable visit of a reigning monarch, prince, duke or governor into a city - mainly in the Duchy of Brabant or the County of Flanders and occasionally in France, Luxembourg or Hungary, usually coinciding with recognition by the monarch of the rights or privileges to the city, and sometimes accompanied by an extension of them.

A Joyous Entry is a particular form of, and title for, the general phenomenon of ceremonial entries into cities by rulers or their representatives, which were celebrated with enormous pageantry and festivities throughout Europe from at least the late Middle Ages on. The leading artists available designed temporary decorated constructions such as triumphal arches, groups of musicians and actors performed on stands at which the procession halted, the houses on the processional route decorated themselves with hangings, flowers were thrown, and fountains flowed with wine. The custom began in the Middle Ages and continued until the French Revolution, although less often in Protestant counties after the Reformation. A formal first visit to a city by an inheritor of the throne of Belgium upon his accession and since 1900 for a crown prince upon his marriage, is still referred to as a "Joyous Entry", a reminder of this tradition of the rule of law.

In Belgium this ceremonial reception of the new sovereign has continued since 1830. Ceremonial entries are performed by the new royal couple in the capitals of the provinces after the installation of the King. The same goes for the Duke of Brabant, who after his marriage presents the new duchess of Brabant to the public. The most recent Joyous Entries were organised in honour of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde in 2013.

Centered and on right side are the abbreviations of Bank of Belgium - BNB.

In top corners are the monograms of The King Leopold I.

Denomination in numeral is in lower left corners, in words on right side, at the bottom.


Obverse and reverse designer: J. Vanpaemel.

Engraver: G. Regnier.

The Dynasty series of Belgian franc notes.

It’s all too easily forgotten, but money, whether in the shape of notes or coins, has always been an endorsement of the history of the society under which it was created. So, it is natural that great figures and significant events are featured on banknotes. For the month of November, this latest edition of the Museum’s Object of the Month turns its attention to a very specific series of Belgian banknotes: the Dynasty series, issued just after the Second World War. And in this series, the history of Belgium is given pride of place.

As from 1938, the National Bank of Belgium envisaged issuing a new series of banknotes denominated in Belgian francs which would for the first time bear the effigies of the country’s entire royal dynasty, hence the series’ name “Dynastie”. Four denominations were originally planned: the 10 000-franc note with Leopold I’s portrait, 1000 francs featuring Albert I, 500 francs with Leopold II and, last but not least, 100 francs with King Leopold III, the reigning sovereign at the time. Although the series had been arranged as early as 1939, the outbreak of the Second World War disrupted the plans and they had to be postponed.

The German occupation effectively saw national coins and notes in circulation alongside banknotes issued by a public institution established under German law (Reichskreditkassenscheine), necessity banknotes issued by the local authorities, and people even resorting to barter. However, the National Bank did not lose sight of its Dynasty series project, and got down to work on drawing up a completely new printing technique, copperplate. This technique, which would eventually replace letterpress printing, enabled improvements in both the look of the banknotes as well as their protection against counterfeiting.

Unfortunately, plans for compiling the series were going to run into trouble. First of all, there was the realisation that a 10 000-franc note would be too big after the post-war monetary reform plan (the famous “Opération Gutt”) and thus of no use. So it was never issued. Leopold I then no longer had a banknote bearing his image…or at least in theory! At that time, Belgium was rocked by a major controversy: the Royal Question. In 1940, the King, who was the head of the Belgian armed forces under martial law, surrundered to the Germans, against the advice of the government which wanted to continue hostilities. This unilateral decision severely tested the sovereign’s popularity, to such an extent that it was not at all shocking to replace the portrait of Leopold III on the 100-franc banknote by that of the first King of the Belgians! So, owing to economic necessities and political crises, Leopold III did not get to have his own banknote. It is especially remarkable to see that even as common an item as the banknote could be a witness and, above all, an illustration of these historical troubles.

But that wasn’t the end of the problems. Still owing to wartime circumstances, the Dynasty series could not be printed in copperplate, as the engraver and designer Jules Vanpaemel had prepared for, but still had to be in letterpress. Furthermore, in 1945, Belgium had to enlist the help of the Banque de France to be able to print the first seven million 500-franc notes. And to crown this ill-fated series, it turned out that the Dynasty series was easy to forge…

Now let’s take a look at the three banknote denominations that were put into circulation. Each one of them illustrates significant historical facts from the reigns of the three monarchs, with there always being a link between the front and the back. Generally speaking, the Dynasty series is distinguishable from the previous series by its much lighter designs and adornments. The front is always divided into three parts: the royal portrait, the seal and the frame containing the watermark.

Owing to the high number of fakes, the Dynasty series was replaced in 1950-1952 by another one that would retain the theme of royal portraits but which would at the same time commemorate the National Bank’s centenary. Consequently, this new series was quite naturally called “Centenaire”. But this time, the copperplate printing technique really was used, thus giving the banknotes the modernity originally intended for the Dynasty series notes.

Charlotte Vantieghem. Museum Guide. (