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500 Markkaa 1993. Litt. A, Finland

in Krause book Number: 120
Years of issue: 1993
Signatures: Johtokunnan jäsen: Kalevi Sorsa, Johtokunnan puheenjohtaja: Sirkka Hämäläinen
Serie: Famous personalities
Specimen of: 1986
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 142 х 69
Printer: Bank of Finland Security Printing House, Setelipaino Sedeltryckeriet, Vantaa

* 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.

500 Markkaa 1993. Litt. A




Elias Lönnrot.


500 Markkaa 1993. Litt. A

Elias Lönnrot

The engraving on banknote is made after this image of Elias Lönnrot.

Elias Lönnrot (9 April 1802 - 19 March 1884) was a Finnish physician, philologist and collector of traditional Finnish oral poetry. He is best known for creating the Finnish national epic, Kalevala, (1835, enlarged 1849), from short ballads and lyric poems gathered from the Finnish oral tradition during several expeditions in Finland, Russian Karelia, the Kola Peninsula and Baltic countries.

Lönnrot was born in Sammatti, in the province of Uusimaa, Finland, which was then part of Sweden. He studied medicine at the Academy of Turku. The Great Fire of Turku coincided with his first academic year. As the university was destroyed in the fire, it was moved to Helsinki, the newly established administrative center of the Grand Duchy and the present capital city of Finland. Lönnrot followed and graduated in 1832.

Lönnrot got a job as district doctor of Kajaani in Eastern Finland during a time of famine and pestilence in the district. The famine had prompted the previous doctor to resign, making it possible for a very young doctor to get such a position. Several consecutive years of crop failure resulted in losses of population and livestock. In addition, lack of a hospital further complicated Lönnrot's work. He was the sole doctor for 4,000 or so people, most of whom lived in small rural communities scattered across the district. As physicians and novel drugs were expensive at the time, most people relied on their village healers and locally available remedies. Lönnrot himself was keen on traditional remedies and also administered them. However, he believed strongly that preventive measures such as good hygiene, breastfeeding babies and vaccines were the most effective cures for most of his patients.

His true passion lay in his native Finnish language. He began writing about the early Finnish language in 1827 and began collecting folk tales from rural people about that time. In 1831, the Finnish Literature Society was founded, and Lönnrot, being one of the founder members, received financial support from the society for his collecting efforts.

Lönnrot went on extended leaves of absence from his doctor's office; he toured the countryside of Finland, Sapmi (Lapland), and nearby portions of Russian Karelia. This led to a series of books: Kantele, 1829-1831 (the kantele is a Finnish traditional instrument); Kalevala, 1835-1836 (the "old" Kalevala); Kanteletar, 1840; Sananlaskuja, 1842 (Proverbs); an expanded second edition of Kalevala, 1849 (the "new" Kalevala). Lönnrot was recognised for his part in preserving Finland's oral traditions by appointment to the Chair of Finnish Literature at the University of Helsinki in 1853.

He also undertook the task of compiling the first Finnish-Swedish dictionary (Finsk-Svenskt lexikon, 1866-1880). The result comprised over 200,000 entries, and many of the Finnish translations were coined by Lönnrot himself. His vast knowledge of traditional Finnish poetry made him a definite authority in Finland and many of his inventions have stuck. Finnish scientific terminology was in particular influenced by Lönnrot's work and therefore many abstract terms that have a Latin or Greek etymology in mainstream European languages appear as native neologisms in Finnish. Examples from linguistics and medicine include kielioppi (grammar), kirjallisuus (literature), laskimo (vein) and valtimo (artery). This may be well contrasted with the so-called inkhorn debate of English, in which proponents of Saxon-based words were largely defeated.


On background is the Kantele.

From the word “kantele” the word “Kanteletar” is formed - the name of the collection of Finnish folk runes (verses), compiled by Elias Lönnrot and first published in three issues in the years 1840-1841. The suffix tar (fin) refers to the feminine, that is, the kanteletar is the daughter of the kantele or the muse-patroness of playing the kantele.

A kantele is a traditional Finnish and Karelian plucked string instrument (chordophone) belonging to the south east Baltic box zither family known as the Baltic psaltery along with Estonian kannel, Latvian kokles, Lithuanian kanklės and Russian gusli.

The kantele has a distinctive bell-like sound. The Finnish kantele generally has a diatonic tuning though small kantele with between 5 and 15 strings are often tuned to a gapped mode missing a seventh and with the lowest pitched strings tuned to a fourth below the tonic as a drone. Players hold the kantele in their laps or on a small table. There are two main techniques to play, either plucking the strings with their fingers or strumming unstopped strings (sometimes with a matchstick). The small and concert kanteles have different, though related, repertoires.

There have been strong developments for the kantele in Finland since the mid-XX century, starting with the efforts of modern players such as Martti Pokela in the 1950s and 1960s. Education for playing the instrument starts in schools and music institutes up to conservatories and the Sibelius Academy, the only music university in Finland. Even some artistic doctoral studies have been made at the Academy with traditional, western classical and electronic music. A Finnish luthiery, Koistinen Kantele, has developed also an electric kantele, which employs pick-ups similar to those on electric guitars. It has gained popularity amongst Finnish heavy metal musicians such as Amorphis.

Robert Stigell's Väinämöinen (1888) decorating the Vanha Ylioppilastalo (Old Student House) in Helsinki holds the first kantele made of the giant pike's jawbone as told in the Kalevala.

In Finland's national epic, Kalevala, the mage Väinämöinen makes the first kantele from the jawbone of a giant pike and a few hairs from Hiisi's stallion. The music it makes draws all the forest creatures near to wonder at its beauty.

Later, after losing and greatly grieving over his kantele, Väinämöinen makes another one from a birch, strung with the hair of a willing maiden, and its magic proves equally profound. It is the gift the eternal sage leaves behind when he departs Kaleva at the advent of Christianity.

Denomination is centered, in numeral in lower left corner.


500 Markkaa 1993. Litt. A


Punkaharju is a former municipality of Finland. It was consolidated with the town of Savonlinna on January 1, 2013.

It was located in the province of Eastern Finland and is part of the Southern Savonia region. The municipality covered an area of 748.12 square kilometrs (288.85 sq mi.) of which 276.86 km2 (106.90 sq mi.) was water. The population density was 7.8555/km2 (20.3457/sq mi.). The municipality was unilingually Finnish.


Finnish Forest Museum Lusto and the Finnish Forest Research Institute are located in Punkaharju, which hosts a research forest park open for visitors. In the park some of the tallest trees in the whole Finland can be found, for example pines in the height of 40 meters (130 ft.). Punkaharju ridge is a famous national landscape protected by a national reserve.

On top is incomplete finish coat of arms.

The Lion is an ancient Scandinavian symbol of authority and power, the symbol of chivalry (hand) and saber - involvement in the general culture of Christian Europe in the fight against the Muslims.

Denomination in numeral is in top right corner, in numeral and words lower, centered.


Obverse designer: Torsten Ekstrom.

Reverse designer: Erik Bruun (born in 1926 in Viipuri (Vyborg)) - Finnish graphic designer.