header Notes Collection

50 Mark 1991, Germany

in Krause book Number: 40
Years of issue: 30.09.1991
Signatures: Bundesbank Präsident: Prof. Helmut Schlesinger (01.08.1991-31.09.1993), Vizepräsident: Prof. Hans Tietmeyer (01.08.1991-30.09.1993)
Serie: Fourth Series
Specimen of: 01.08.1991
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 146 х 71
Printer: Bundesdruckerei GmbH, Berlin

* 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 Mark 1991




Balthasar Neumann (1687-1753), master builder of the Baroque, Catholic; Painting by Marcus Friedrich Kleinert from 1727, Mainfränkisches Museum, Würzburg.


50 Mark 1991

Balthasar Neumann

The engraving on banknote is made after the portrait of Balthasar Neumann (1687-1753), master builder of the Baroque, Catholic; Painting by Marcus Friedrich Kleinert from 1727, Mainfränkisches Museum, Würzburg.

Johann Balthasar Neumann (27 January 1687 (?)- 19 August 1753), usually known as Balthasar Neumann, was a German architect and military artillery engineer who developed a refined brand of Baroque architecture, fusing Austrian, Bohemian, Italian, and French elements to design some of the most impressive buildings of the period, including the Würzburg Residence and the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (called Vierzehnheiligen in German).

The Würzburg Residence is considered one of the most beautiful and well proportioned palaces in Europe and the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers is considered by some as the crowning work of the period.

Neumann was born in Eger, Kingdom of Bohemia, now known as Cheb, Czech Republic in January 1687. He was the seventh of nine children of cloth-maker Hans Christoph Neumann (d. 1713) and his wife Rosina (1645-1707). Neumann was baptized on 30 January 1687.

His first apprenticeship was spent working at a bell and gun foundry in Eger. However, during his Journeyman years he came to Würzburg in 1711. In 1712 he attended lessons on geometry, architecture and land surveying and joined the local military, in which he remained until his death, then holding the rank of colonel of the artillery. He created measurement instruments (1712, Deutsches Museum/Munich and 1713, Mainfränkisches Museum, Würzburg), a map of Würzburg (1715, copy at the War Archive, Munich) and some drawings for a new abbey at Ebrach Abbey (1716, now lost).

In 1717 he served in the Austro–Turkish War, advancing with his unit from Vienna to Belgrade. In 1718 he travelled through northern Italy to study buildings and briefly worked on civilian construction projects at Milan (details not known).

Neumann's career as an architect took off under Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn, Prince-Bishopric of Würzburg who asked the young engineer in 1719 to plan, and in 1720 to lead construction of, his new palace, the Würzburg Residence. Although other architects participated, Neumann was able to give the project his personal imprint, which became his life's work.

The second task for the Prince-Bishop was the Schönbornkapelle of Würzburg Cathedral (from 1721). In 1723 Neumann traveled and studied in France. At Paris and Versailles he met with royal architects Germain Boffrand and Robert de Cotte and consulted them on the Würzburg projects. Back at Würzburg, Neumann started to build a hunting lodge known as Mädelhofen (1724, unfinished, demolished in 1725).

In 1725, Neumann married Maria Eva Engelberts (1704-1745). They had three sons and 5 daughters.

Under von Schönborn's successor, Christoph Franz von Hutten (1673-1729) he was less busy at Wurzburg and mainly worked for various abbeys. His new church at Münsterschwarzach Abbey (after 1727, demolished after 1821) laid the groundwork for his fame as a builder of churches. Another work of this period was the church at Kloster Holzkirchen (1728-1730) where he combined features of the French, Italian and German Baroque.

The next Prince-Bishop was Friedrich Karl von Schönborn (1674-1746), who also was Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg. As Reichsvizekanzler von Schönborn lived at the imperial court at Vienna until 1734. He named Neumann director of all military, civilian and ecclesiastical construction in both bishoprics and in 1729 and 1739 ordered him to Vienna, where he exchanged views with Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, von Schönborn's architect, whose influence is visible in some parts of the Residence and also at the hunting lodge of Werneck (after 1733).

As chief engineer of the joint Hochstifts, Neumann was responsible for overseeing fortifications, transport and water engineering and for improving urban planning in practical and aesthetical terms. From 1731 he also taught military and civilian architecture at Würzburg University.

Neumann also worked for Damian Hugo Philipp von Schönborn (1676-1743) and Franz Georg von Schönborn (1682-1756). Neumann built the Corps de Logis of the Schloss Bruchsal at Bruchsal (after 1731), with its notable stairway. In the same town, he also designed the church of St. Peter (1740-1746) which was to be the burial site for the Prince-Bishops of Speyer. Among his work for the Elector of Trier are the Dikasterialgebäude of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress (1739-1748) and the summer palace Schönbornslust (1748-1752, demolished 1806) at Kesselheim, also near Koblenz.

This work in turn led to Neumann being contacted for further work in the west of Germany. Out of many mooted projects only the stairway and New Apartments of the Brühl Palace (from 1743). Plans he made for the ducal palace at Stuttgart (after 1747), for Schwetzingen Palace (1749) and the Residence at Karlsruhe (after 1750) were never implemented.

As a builder of churches, Neumann recurred to Guarino Guarini, the architecture of his native Bohemia and its transmittance to Franconia by Johann Dientzenhofer. He emphasized the use of the rotunda as a central feature of his churches. This reached its pinnacle at Vierzehnheiligen (after 1742) and Neresheim (after 1747).

One of his last large projects was a rebuilding of the Hofburg Palace at Vienna (after 1746), which was not put into practice, however.

Neumann worked on St. Paulinus' Church in Trier, designing most of the internal elements.

He died in Würzburg on 19 August 1753 and is buried at the Marienkapelle there.

The final German 50 DM note showed a picture of him together with the famous staircase located in the Residence of Würzburg. Neumann was also depicted by Tiepolo in the ceiling fresco above the stairway of the Residence, in pseudo-military uniform, leaning over a cannon. He had boasted that the ceiling was so well constructed that not even the roar of a cannon would make the roof fall.


Lower, left, are the Braille symbols for visually impaired.


Left of Neumann is the proportional compass of 1700s.

The sector, also known as a proportional compass or military compass, was a major calculating instrument in use from the end of the sixteenth century until the nineteenth century. It is an instrument consisting of two rulers of equal length joined by a hinge. A number of scales are inscribed upon the instrument which facilitate various mathematical calculations. It was used for solving problems in proportion, trigonometry, multiplication and division, and for various functions, such as squares and cube roots. Its several scales permitted easy and direct solutions of problems in gunnery, surveying and navigation. The sector derives its name from the fourth proposition of the sixth book of Euclid, where it is demonstrated that similar triangles have their like sides proportional. It has four parts, two legs with a pivot (the articulation), a quadrant and a clamp (the curved part at the end of the leg) that enables the compass to function as a gunner's quadrant.


On background are the old buildings of old Würzburg.

In 1719, Prince Bishop Johann Philip Franz von Schönborn decided to move his residence from the Marienberg fortress on the mountain on the left bank of the Main River to the city. The prince-bishop commissioned the construction of the palace to an unknown 30-year-old Bohemian-born Cheb, an artillery engineer and a foundryman (!!!) Balthazar Neumann. The choice seemed strange, but time proved the bishop's insight - Neumann created an extraordinary work in all respects.

The construction of the palace began in 1720 and ended in 1744, already under another bishop.

The main staircase with a huge ceiling (18x30 m.), Built without a single supporting pylon, is considered to be a generally accepted architectural and technical masterpiece of Neumann.

The spitpoisons claimed that a “free-hanging” ceiling of this size was impossible, that it would surely collapse. Not paying any attention to them, Neumann nevertheless embodied his plan.

But mankind appreciated the true power of talent (and calculations) of an artillery engineer only in March 1945. When the next morning, after the terrible bombardment of the city, almost all the buildings of the Residence turned into charred ruins, the central part of the palace, with Neumann ceilings, remained unharmed!

Thus, the most valuable ceremonial halls located in the center of the building did not suffer at all (well, except for the slightly plastered places of plaster) and have survived to our days, in their original design.

Balthazar Neumann passed on his engineering knowledge to his son Franz Ignats Michael Neumann.

Still, on the Main Embankment stands, built in 1773 by the Neumann Jr., a port crane, which was also completely unaffected by the bombing and became a symbol of the city.

You can also see there:


At the bottom is The Würzburg Residence.

The Würzburg Residence (German: Würzburger Residenz) is a palace in Würzburg, Germany. Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt and Maximilian von Welsch, representatives of the Austrian/South German Baroque style, were involved in the construction, as well as Robert de Cotte and Germain Boffrand, who were followers of the French Style. Balthasar Neumann, court architect of the Bishop of Würzburg, was the principal architect of the Residence, which was commissioned by the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn and his brother Friedrich Carl von Schönborn in 1720, and completed in 1744. The Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, assisted by his son, Domenico, painted frescoes in the building.

Interiors considered masterworks of Baroque/Rococo or Neoclassical architecture and art include the grand staircase, the chapel, and the Imperial Hall. The building was reportedly called the "largest parsonage in Europe" by Napoleon. It was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during World War II, and restoration has been in progress since 1945. Since 1981, the Residence has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


At the top is Marienberg Fortress.

Marienberg Fortress (German: Festung Marienberg) is a prominent landmark on the left bank of the Main river in Würzburg, in the Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. The mighty Fortress Marienberg is a symbol of Würzburg and served as a home of the local prince-bishops for nearly five centuries. It has been a fort since ancient times. Most of the current structures originally were built in Renaissance and Baroque styles between the XVI and XVIII centuries. After Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden conquered the area in 1631 during the Thirty Years' War, the castle was reconstructed as a Baroque residence. After it ceased to serve as residence of the Bishops of Würzburg, the fortress saw repeated action in the wars of the late XVIII and XIX centuries. Festung Marienberg was severely damaged by British bombs in March 1945 and only fully rebuilt in 1990. Today, it houses two museums.


Centered, on left side is The Würzburg Cathedral, view from North.

Würzburg Cathedral (German: Würzburger Dom) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, dedicated to Saint Kilian. It is the seat of the Bishop of Würzburg and has served as the burial place for the Prince-Bishops of Würzburg for hundreds of years. With an overall length of 103 metres, it is the fourth largest Romanesque church building in Germany and a masterpiece of German architecture from the Salian period. Notable later additions include work by Tilman Riemenschneider and Balthasar Neumann. The cathedral was heavily damaged by British bombs in March 1945 but rebuilt post-World War II.

Denominations in numerals are lower and on right side, in words on right side (vertically).


50 Mark 1991

Partial views of Neumann's buildings, including the staircase of the Würzburg Residence, in longitudinal section the Abbey Church Neresheim and the ground floor plan of the Kitzinger Kreuzkapelle.


The Würzburg Residence (German: Würzburger Residenz) is a palace in Würzburg, Germany. Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt and Maximilian von Welsch, representatives of the Austrian/South German Baroque style, were involved in the construction, as well as Robert de Cotte and Germain Boffrand, who were followers of the French Style. Balthasar Neumann, court architect of the Bishop of Würzburg, was the principal architect of the Residence, which was commissioned by the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn and his brother Friedrich Carl von Schönborn in 1720, and completed in 1744. The Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, assisted by his son, Domenico, painted frescoes in the building.

Interiors considered masterworks of Baroque/Rococo or Neoclassical architecture and art include the grand staircase, the chapel, and the Imperial Hall. The building was reportedly called the "largest parsonage in Europe" by Napoleon. It was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during World War II, and restoration has been in progress since 1945. Since 1981, the Residence has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In Baroque style, the staircase gained importance as part of a formal reception room. The staircase of the Würzburg Residence spans its vault, an area of 18 × 32 meters, without pillars. Beneath an unsupported trough vault, a masterpiece of construction with a maximum height of 23 meters.

The lowest part of the stair leads away from the reception hall, towards a blank wall and then splits into two stairs which double back. Thus the host on the upper landing was able to see his visitors first who initially walked away from him. When the guests turned and approached, the vast ceiling fresco above was increasingly revealed to them.

Abteikirche Neresheim

Balthasar Neumann. Cross-section of the Abteikirche Neresheim, March 20, 1749. Würzburg, Mainfränkisches Museum.

The spiritual and architectural center of the monastery of Neresheim and one of the most striking landmarks of Baden-Wuerttemberg is the Abbeikirche Church. This is a monument of national importance and cultural heritage of Europe.

The construction of the Abbey Church was begun in 1750, by the project of Johann Balthazar Neumann, a famous German baroque and rococo architect. After the death of Neumann, in 1753, his work was continued by the disciples. The lack of money led to breaks in the construction of the church and a change in the initial design (for example, the flat design of the main dome, which was also made of wood instead of stone). From 1770 to 1775, the interior of the church was painted by the famous Austrian Baroque master Martin Knoller.

The well-known art historian Geogr Dzhyo described the Neresheim Abbey church as a “Masterpiece of European Baroque” in the documentation of German cultural history, he also noted that “The Baroque architecture of the Neresheim Abbey church has no analogues for comparison not only in Germany, but throughout Europe”.

In 1965, the church was threatened with collapse, as the draft of the main dome led to cracks in the walls. From 1969 to 1975 the building underwent extensive restoration.

Kitzinger Kreuzkapelle Kitzinger Kreuzkapelle

In lower right corner is the the ground floor plan of the Kitzinger Kreuzkapelle.

The Kreuzkapelle (Chapel of the Holy Cross, Holy Cross) is a small baroque Catholic church in the district of Tatsashausen Kitzingen. It was built from 1741 according to the plans of Balthasar Neumann and solemnly consecrated in 1745.

The originality and the level of Neumann architecture are remarkable for a village church and need not shy away from comparison to its other sacral buildings.

The client was the Würzburg Prince-Bishop Friedrich Carl von Schönborn. Heilig-Kreuz is Neumann's most elaborate village church, since it should be a significant counterpart to the Protestant church of St. Michael, built in the immediate vicinity of Schönborn. The prince-bishop wanted to demonstrate liberality and the absolute primacy of the Catholic Church. The result was one of Neumann's most unadorned, architecture-focused buildings.

The layout of the Holy Cross corresponds to the façade tower type, which is widespread in Franconia and evolves from the shape of the Latin cross, according to the Patrocinium. The building material is Franconian sandstone, the roof was covered with slate. The façade is curved and almost centered on the central axis, from which the relatively low tower with onion dome and four bells grows. Because of the fire danger the prince-bishop wished a firm vaulting.

Neumann's original plans provided for an optimal rotunda in the crossing area. By rounding the corners of the crossing was expanded before its completion in 1745 in its base. The fillets run over a common base circle, the rotunda is already visible in the outer wall. The Vierenrotunde is a four-arcade rotunda with pairs of columns, which builds schematically on the construction of the Schönborn chapel of Würzburg Cathedral. In comparison to this, however, the columns are detached from the reserve, so that a contact arises between the wall parts and the columns. The room always appears to be moving, as room openings and vistas form and the light breaks at the columns. In addition, the curvature sits directly on the Säulengebälk. It lacks the cylindrical gusset walls, which is why the arcades in the original concept again cut into the vault shell and the whole thing is so low that a uniform vault zone is created. The inner structure gains thereby transparency and width. The pairs of columns and the swinging arches form the inner shell of the rotunda, the outer one is created by the rounded walls of the corners of the rectangle, concentrically placed around the inner rotunda. It forms the reserve for the pairs of columns. Neumann also used the effect of surrounding a room through space (envelope effect) for the design of the choir and gallery. The choir closure he separated by a triple arcade Tuscan order from the choir yoke. Pendant is a similar arcade, now with pilasters, in the entrance and gallery area.

However, Neumann's plans regarding the vault overwhelmed the local construction management. Therefore, the architect replaced arcades and intermediate vaults by four punches. They now cut in a pointed triangular shape deep into the vault shell, which consists only of narrow feet and a flat vertex. The rotunda idea of ​​the substructure is thus turned into its opposite. The originally planned elegant bowing is replaced in the vault by a hardness and bulkiness of the appearance.

Due to the slight emphasis on the long arm in relation to the other three cross arms, the space appears concentrated on the crossing and thus as the central space. The intersection forms a non-equilateral octagon with deeply dome-shaped cupola.

More to the left is a seal of German Bundesbank.

Denominations in numerals are lower and on left side, in words on left side (vertically).


The signatures on banknote belong to:

Helmut Schlesinger

Helmut Schlesinger (04.09.1924).

Hans Tietmeyer

Hans Tietmeyer (18 August 1931).

Reinhold Gerstetter

Designer - Reinhold Gerstetter.

Reinhold Gerstetter (October 18, 1945 in Leonberg in Baden-Württemberg) is a German graphic artist and designer. The most famous work in Germany is the last series of DM banknotes, which he designed, as well as the revision of the second Euro Series, the so-called "Euro-Series".

Gerstetter studied graphic design at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart and later worked in advertising in London, Berlin and Haifa. From 1979 to 2002 he worked for the Bundesdruckerei. There he designed as a chief designer behördliches graphic design, stamps and banknotes (including for Israel, Bolivia and Peru). 1987 Gerst Etters design was chosen as the basis for the fourth and final series of banknotes of the German mark, which was from 1990 to early 2002 in circulation. A short time later, he also won the design competition of the Banco de España, which published four banknote values ​​from 1992, based on Gerst Etters designs. Although his designs submitted for the first series of banknotes of the common currency were not selected euro by the jury for the implementation, however, he was entrusted with the revision of the second series of euro banknotes that came into circulation as of May 2013.

His daughter, Avitall, is Germany's first female Jewish cantor.

Fourth Series of DM.

On March 19, 1981, the members of the Central Bank Council of the Deutsche Bundesbank decided to issue a new banknote series. She had become necessary due to technological progress, by the falsification of the old notes had become ever easier. Also a new series for the automatic payment transactions would be more appropriate. It took almost ten years, until the first two banknote values ​​were put into circulation on 1 October 1990 levels. This was around the 100- and 200-mark note. The latter denomination was introduced in this series of banknotes.

When designing the bank notes and the selection of the design elements were a lot of decisions to make. As early as the preliminary to the new series portraits were determined as the main subject. It should "be chosen brilliant portraits of personalities of German history in the fields of art, literature, music, economics, science and technology". In addition, the rear in conjunction should be about the person depicted on the front. Further, the primary colors of the note values ​​should remain unchanged and the word banknote stand on every bill in Gothic script.

People Picker.

A committee, consisting of historians Karl Otmar von Aretin, Knut Borchardt and Horst Fuhrmann, was commissioned to define the persons who should appear on the banknotes. The choice was between about 70 to 80 people. Here to "Top Artists" (z. B. Goethe, Schiller, Dürer) has been omitted. Likewise, retired people from whose expellees affiliation was unclear or a provocation in creed or political manner could mean (for example, Martin Luther, Karl Marx) or who had rendered her work mainly abroad, such as Jacques Offenbach.

When selecting the people should pay attention to balance in terms of gender, religion, national origin and work area. It should, if possible, three, but at least be represented two female characters in the series. However, the selection was very limited to female personalities. The aim was to show women who have created an independent work and not in the shade close to them were men (Charlotte von Stein, Charlotte von Kalb). However, such women were very rare until the XIX century. Therefore, the Panel chose to begin with the female figures, so not limitations on the field of activity, origin or confession had to be considered.

One of the requirements for the design was that the people viewed by the observer, the left should look towards banknote center. This meant that the provided portraits for five, ten, twenty, fifty and two hundred-Mark banknotes had to be mirrored. As with the Brothers Grimm two people should be ready to give them the largest banknote was reserved because of the large space requirement. Otherwise, men and women should alternate. The rest of the allocation of person and note value, however, was random and does not constitute a rating of persons.

Actually, Maria Sibylla Merian was earmarked for the 100- and Clara Schumann for the 500-mark note. However, only an artistically inferior etching by Johann Rudolf Schellenberg was for the portrait of Maria Sibylla Merian available, as in the original template doubts about the authenticity arose. Therefore, the Bundesbank held a design competition in order to get a high-quality master of this etching, which was the basis for the portrait on the bill later. Since the 100-DM-note should appear as one of the first, the people were replaced because of these difficulties.

Selection of the winning design.

Bundesdruckerei (represented by Rudolf Gerhardt, who had already designed the bench marks (BBK-II) for West Berlin), Ernst: For the design competition, which ran from 1 January to 30 June 1987, four graphic designers were by the Bundesbank in charge disciples, Johann Müller and Adrian Arthur Senger. According to the judgment of an expert commission consisting of historians, designers and graphic designers as well as a sociologist, corresponded to only one series to the high expectations. However, this reminded too much of the Swiss franc, so that she did not come into question. Thus, it would have been necessary actually a new design competition, which would have delayed the project by at least one year. But since Bundesdruckerei did submit two drafts, which was not accepted by the Bundesbank, was the draft by the then chief graphic designer of Bundesdruckerei, Reinhold Gerstetter, yet unseen in custody of the Bundesbank. After review by the Panel of this design was selected eventually as a basis for the new banknote series. The experts wrote: "The art expert panel is unanimously of the view that the here [...] compiled draft properties largely meet the requirements [...]. The art expert panel may recommend in this sense, the Deutsche Bundesbank, to make the present proposals for the basis of a new banknote series."

Configuration of the front sides.

The to be seen on the front towns pictures were an idea Gerst Etters. In his designs were to be seen in some cases striking modern building of the respective cities. However, the draft of the city of Frankfurt led to the decision to represent only historical buildings. The reason given was that the office towers of Deutsche Bank dominated the design and the Bundesbank should not be suspected to advertise for a private company.

In 1988, it was now necessary to select the appropriate city for each person. The design of the graphic looked for Paul Ehrlich Bad Homburg, his place of death, before. However, his work was held in Berlin and Frankfurt mostly. Frankfurt had Gerstetter however provided for Clara Schumann, who spent her final years there. After deciding on the introduction of the 5-DM-bill with the portrait of Bettina von Arnim was soon clear map to this the city of Berlin. Because each city should appear on the banknotes only once, only came for Paul Ehrlich thus Frankfurt in question. For Clara Schumann, the city of Leipzig was chosen because Leipzig was not just her birth, but because they also had their first successes there later.

Due to the events in the years 1989/1990, the decision for Leipzig proved a stroke of luck; because the banknote series was originally intended only for West Germany and West Berlin. But as the new federal states were represented with a city which also still has a special symbolic meaning: Here is the first Monday demonstrations took place that led to the dissolution of the GDR and the reunification of Germany.

Design of backs.

Reinhold Gerstetter looked for the back of the 1000-Mark certificate as the main subject is a figure from the fairy tale The Star Money before. However, the Brothers Grimm should, despite their extensive collection of fairy tales, can not be reduced to the fairy tale, as they have rendered outstanding services to the issuing of the German dictionary much about the German language. Thus, the dictionary was the main motif, and the Sterntaler "wandered" into the White Field.

Also in the design of the back was done with great attention to detail. So, even the background pattern a reference to the person who is pictured on the front. A penalty for the forgery of bank notes was no longer available in the fourth series.