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20 Korun 1994, Czech Republic

in Krause book Number: 10
Years of issue: 20.04.1994
Signatures: Guverner: Josef Tošovský (20.1.1993 – 17.12.1997)
Serie: 1993 Issue
Specimen of: 1994
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 128 х 64
Printer: STC-Prague. Statni Tiskarna Cenin, Praha

* 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 Korun 1994




Portrait of the King of Bohemia Přemysl Otakar (Ottokar) I.


20 Korun 1994

Přemysl Otakar I

The engraving on banknote is made after this image of the King of Bohemia Přemysl Otakar (Ottokar) I.

Ottokar I (Czech: Přemysl I. Otakar; c. 1155 – 1230) was Duke of Bohemia periodically beginning in 1192, then acquired the title King of Bohemia, first in 1198 from Philip of Swabia, later in 1203 from Otto IV of Brunswick and in 1212 from Frederick II. He was a member of the Přemyslid dynasty.

During the beginning of the reign of Premysl Otakar, internecine wars for power between the different lines of the Přemyslid dynasty were going on in the Czech Republic. The winner was Przemysl Otakar - he managed to achieve peace, strengthen central power and weaken the political independence of the big nobility. Cleverly using the struggle for the title of emperor of the Holy Roman Empire between Welfs and Hohenstaufen, Przemysl Otakar achieved recognition of the hereditary royal title and the right to conduct an independent policy from the empire. These rights were enshrined in a document entitled "The Golden Sicilian Bull". During the reign of Premysl Otakar the international prestige of the Czech Kingdom grew, and bishops and clergy gained significant rights and privileges.

Details about the king can be found here

Porta Coeli

On background is the western portal of the monastery Heaven's Gate (Porta Coeli), located in Předklášteří, near Tišnov, South Moravian Region, Czech Republic.

The monastery of the Heavenly Gate (Porta Coeli) was founded by Queen Constance of Hungary, the widow of the Czech king Přemysl Ottokar I in 1233. This monastery was conceived as a royal burial vault, and became the site of the last refuge of Constance itself and several members of the royal family, so the construction was carried out in record time for the Middle Ages, in just 8 years the main basilica was finished. The monastery and the temple were built by specially invited masters from France and today it is a rare monument of the Burgundian Romance-Gothic style for the Czech Republic. The visiting card of the monastery is a richly decorated carved portal, the "Celestial Gate", which symbolized the entrance to heaven for contemporaries and, thereby, provided the transition from a vain world to eternal life. For centuries, the monastery has been ravaged and destroyed several times, but has always been reborn.


On foreground is the seal of Ottokar I.

Denominations in numerals are in top left corner and on the right side. Centered - in words.


20 Korun 1994


On foreground is the crown of Otokar I (Otokar's crown).

Zlatá bula sicilská Zlatá bula sicilská

Above the crown is the seal of The Golden Bull of Sicily.

The Golden Bull of Sicily (Czech: Zlatá bula sicilská, Latin: Bulla Aurea Siciliæ) was a decree issued by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor in Basel on 26 September 1212 that confirmed the royal title obtained by Ottokar I of Bohemia in 1198, declaring him and his heirs Kings of Bohemia. The kingship signified the exceptional status of Bohemia within the Holy Roman Empire.

Ottokar's Přemyslid ancestor Vratislaus II had already been elevated to a Bohemian king by Emperor Henry IV in 1085, in return for his support during the Saxon revolt and the Investiture Controversy. He was crowned at Prague by Archbishop Egilbert of Trier the next year, the title however was not hereditary and upon his death in 1092, his brother Conrad I succeeded him again as Bohemian duke. In 1158 Vratislaus' grandson Vladislaus II achieved kingship again, bestowed by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, whom he had accompanied on his Italian campaign against Milan, but failed to secure the succession of his eldest son Frederick.

In September 1198 Frederick's younger half-brother Ottokar I made use of the rivalry among Otto IV from the House of Welf and the Hohenstaufen duke Philip of Swabia, youngest son of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who both had been elected King of the Romans. He received the hereditary royal title by Philip for his support and, maneuvering between both sides, achieved the acknowledgement by Otto IV as well as by Pope Innocent III. After the assassination of Philip and the papal ban imposed on Otto IV in 1210, Ottokar again switched sides, when he and several princes in 1211 convened at Nuremberg and elected the young Hohenstaufen scion Frederick II alium imperatorem ("Other Emperor"). Frederick, then King of Sicily, left for his coronation in Germany, reaching Basel in September 1212. Here he issued the Golden Bull that confirmed the kingship of Ottokar I and his heirs in Bohemia.

According to the Golden Bull of Sicily, the estates of Bohemia and Moravia were an autonomous and undivisible constituent of the Holy Roman Empire. The King of Bohemia was no longer subject to appointment by the Emperor, and was only required to attend Reichstag diets close to the Bohemian border. Although a subject of the Holy Roman Empire, the Bohemian king was to be the premier Prince-elector (Kurfürst) of the Empire and to furnish all subsequent Emperors with a bodyguard of 300 knights when they went to Rome for their coronation. By this act Frederick II also declared that he and the Empire will give the investiture for Bohemia only to a ruler approved by the people of the country.

When in 1346 King Charles IV united the rule over Bohemia and Germany in his hands, he established the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which remained beyond the Empire's suzerainty and were not considered Imperial States.

As part of the 800th anniversary of the document's signature, the document was put on public display at the National Archive for four days in September 2012.

The ribbon depicted on banknote decorated with gothic ornamental pattern and gems is a part of king’s wearing apparel.


On reverse there is the Czech coat of arms, where the lion represents Bohemia and the eagle represents Moravia as two of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown.

The coat of arms of the Czech Republic (Státní znak České republiky) displays the three historical regions - the Czech lands - which make up the nation: Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.

The arms of Bohemia show a silver double-tailed lion on a red background. This Bohemian Lion makes up the first and the fourth quarters of the greater coat of arms, so it is repeated in the shield. The Moravian red-and-silver chequered eagle is shown on a blue background. Since the days of the Habsburg Monarchy until 1918, the Moravian Eagle was chequered in the red-and-gold colours of the Habsburg dynasty. The arms of Silesia are a black eagle with the so-called "clover stalk" in her breast on a golden background, although only a small south-eastern part of the historical region (Czech Silesia) belongs to the Czech Republic.

The history of the Czech coat of arms dates back to the XIII century, when the Bohemian Lion, a meed by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa to King Vladislaus II of Bohemia, appeared on the seal of his Přemyslid descendant King Ottokar II (1253-1278). The Moravian Eagle was first documented on the seal of Ottokar's uncle, Margrave Přemysl (d. 1239). The shields also appeared on the coat of arms of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown established by Emperor Charles IV. The Silesian Eagle stems from the ruling dynasty of the Piasts and was first applied by Duke Henry II the Pious (1238-1241).

Denominations in numerals are in top right and lower left corners.


For the information provided about this banknote, I have to thanks Markéta Fišerová, spokesperson and director of the communication department of the Czech National Bank.

Designer: Oldrich Kulhanek.

Obverse engraver: M. Ondracek.

Reverse engraver: Vaclav Fajt.

Withdrawn from circulation at 31.08.2008