header Notes Collection

5 Litai 1929, Lithuania

in Krause book Number: 26a
Years of issue: 02.01.1930
Signatures: V. Jurgutis, J. Paknys, V. Statkus
Serie: 1927 - 1930 Issue
Specimen of: 24.06.1929
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 120 x 70
Printer: Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company Limited, New Malden

* 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.

5 Litai 1929




Unclear pattern on the paper.


5 Litai 1929

Vytautas Vytautas Vytautas

The engraving on banknote is made after this painting of XVII century. The painter is unknown.

Portrait of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas the Great (Vytautas Didysis, Вітаўт Кейстутавіч, Witold Kiejstutowicz, Vitovt, Alexander Vitoldus), styled "the Great" from the XV century onwards, born circa 1350 - October 27, 1430) was one of the most famous rulers of medieval Lithuania. Vytautas was the ruler (1392-1430) of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which chiefly encompassed the Lithuanians and Ruthenians. He was also the Prince of Hrodna (1370-1382) and the Prince of Lutsk (1387-1389), postulated king of Hussites.


In modern Lithuania, Vytautas is revered as a national hero and was an important figure in the national rebirth in the XIX century. Vytautas is a popular male given name in Lithuania. In commemoration of 500 years of Vytautas death "Vytautas Magnus University" was named after him. Monuments in his honour were built in many towns in the independent Republic of Lithuania during the interwar period 1918-1939.

His Monogram is at the bottom.


On the right side is Lithuanian Coat of Arms (also known as Vytis) - the official state symbol of the independent Republic of Lithuania (the variant used from 1918 to 1940).

The coat of arms of Lithuania, consisting of an armour-clad knight on horseback holding an olden sword and shield, is also known as Vytis (pronounced [ʋiːt̪ɪs], "the Chaser"). The Lithuanian coat of arms is one of the oldest national coats of arms in Europe.

"The Coat of Arms of the State shall be a white Vytis on a red field". Heraldic shield features the field Gules (red) with an armoured knight on a horse salient Argent (white). The knight is holding in his dexter hand a sword Argent above his head. A shield Azure hangs on the sinister shoulder of the knight with a double cross Or (yellow) on it. The horse saddle, straps, and belts are Azure. The hilt of the sword and the fastening of the sheath, the stirrups, the curb bits of the bridle, the horseshoes, as well as the decoration of the harness, are Or (gold).

The blazon is the following:

Gules, a knight armed cap-à-pie mounted on a horse salient argent, brandishing a sword proper and maintaining a shield azure charged with a cross of Lorraine Or."

Denominations in numerals are in all corners. Centered in words.


5 Litai 1929

:Vytauto priesaika

Painting by Polish artist Jan Styka (1858-1925), finished in 1901, "Oath of Vytautas the Great" ("Vytauto priesaika"). On the painting - Oath of Vytautas the Great, Grand Duke of Lithuania, by ruined Kaunas Castle. It is not historically accurate, as Vytautas was a young child at the time of the siege.

Today this painting is in Kaunas museum.

The Siege of Kaunas was laid by the Teutonic Order on the newly built Kaunas Castle in spring 1362. It was the first brick castle built by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. After a month-long siege, the castle was captured and destroyed. Its commander Vaidotas, son of Kęstutis, and 36 others were taken captive. The defeat, followed by the destruction of Veliuona and Pieštvė the following year, severely weakened Lithuanian defenses along the Neman River and opened central Lithuania to Teutonic attacks.

The Teutonic Order waged a decades-long crusade against the pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania in attempts to conquer it and convert it to Christianity. The Neman River became the natural frontier and each side built a network of castles and fortresses along its banks. Lithuanian fortresses were wooden (Kolainiai, Veliuona, Pieštvė, Paštuva, Bisenė) until they began building stone and red brick Kaunas Castle near the confluence of the Neman and Neris Rivers.

In 1361, the Order sent brother Henry of Schöningen on a reconnaissance mission to find out the size of the new castle so that an effective siege could be organized the next winter. That became the first mention of Kaunas Castle in written sources; the town of Kaunas was mentioned only in 1384. In spring 1362, the Order organized a large campaign with crusaders from England, Italy, Germany, and elsewhere. They sailed up the Neman, quietly bypassing Lithuanian fortresses, and disembarked below Kaunas. For two days they built bridges and reached the castle on March 13.


The Order dug trenches, built ramparts, and filled the moat with dirt. To protect themselves from Lithuanian attack, the Teutons dug a canal connecting Neman and Neris, thus cutting off the castle from the mainland. They also built siege towers and trebuchets and managed to destroy two corner towers. The defense was organized by Vaidotas, son of Kęstutis. The defenders shot arrows, pushed away siege engines, and even managed to build a tower by Neris and fire arrows upon the invaders. This tower was quickly destroyed and pulled down into the river. The knights kept pounding the outer walls provoking the defenders out of the inner walls. The weakened outer wall collapsed, burying many defenders and attackers. The Order continued attacking and destroying inner walls, but defenders would quickly repair the damage.

On April 10, the Order received reinforcements from the Livonian Order and surrounded the castle on all sides. They succeeded in making a gap in the wall, but defenders stubbornly resisted. Kęstutis attempted to negotiate with Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode to no avail. Eventually, the inner wall collapsed, but defenders continued to resist. The attackers threw burning resin and wood soaked in sap, lighting inner wooden structures on fire. Remaining defenders attempted to break through, but Vaidotas and 36 men were captured. The castle fell on April 17, Holy Saturday.

The Teutons did not attempt to establish themselves in Kaunas and sailed back to Prussia on April 18, 1362. The Lithuanians hurried to rebuild. They chose Vyrgalė island at the mouth of Nevėžis, about 7 km. (4.3 mi.) below Kaunas. This New Kaunas was destroyed in April 1363 along with Veliuona and Pieštvė. This severely weakened Lithuanian defenses along the Neman and started the most intense period of attacks towards central Lithuania, including Vilnius and Trakai. Kaunas Castle was rebuilt in 1368 on the foundations of the first inner wall.

Denominations in numerals are on right and left sides. In words - at the bottom.


Designer: Adomas Galdikas.