header Notes Collection

500 Litų 2000, Lithuania

in Krause book Number: 64
Years of issue: 2000
Signatures: Lietuvos Banko Valdybos Pirmininkas: Reinoldijus Sarkinas (in office from 15.02.1996 till 15.04.2011)
Serie: 2000 Issue
Specimen of: 2000
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 147 х 67
Printer: Giesecke und Devrient GmbH, Leipzig

* 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 Litų 2000




Vincas Kudirka and denomination 500.


500 Litų 2000

The obverse of G. Jonaitis' project has changed little, it has been supplemented only with a vertical hologram strip. True, at the request of the Bank of Lithuania's specialists, the artist abandoned the horizontal ornamental stripes on both sides of the banknote, incorporated the greatly reduced overall Vytis created by J. Zikaras for the series of all major denominations into a horizontal ellipse and formed the center composition based on it. Stylized violin and book silhouettes can be seen in the guilloche structure above the coat of arms, they had to characterize V. Kudirka's personality according to the author's idea and required great efforts in composing them. G. Jonaitis remembers: "On the obverse I have a lot of trouble with the violin and the search for the motives of the book. Again, I went through the full spectrum of attempts from completely realistic representation to complete abstraction and conditionality. They did not want to see only a bare area in that place, they wanted content that did not have to visually dominate and compete with the main accent - magnified portrait." This ornamented field is more of a protective tool than an ideological component emphasizing the theme, and the visual play of its intricate drawing can be seen by looking closely at the banknote, a violin and a book that stand out brightly in a small space would have significantly hampered the more important components of the banknote.

500 Litu 2000 in UV

At the bottom, a blurry part of the ornament band remained. From the microtext of the denomination numbers intertwined with other microstructures, it forms a grateful environment for the large number of denominations and its expression in words. The obverse, like that suitable for such large denomination money, is covered with the fabric of the smallest guilloche structures. The banknote is also rich in other state-of-the-art security features - a wide metallized holographic strip with vertical and horizontal text, a security thread with microtext, an overlay, a blind mark - three vertical triangles, invisible ink-printed denomination numbers, some components in fluorescent and ultraviolet many others.

V. Kudirka's portrait is carved professionally. The artist says that, knowing well the engraver's mastery, he did not interfere too much in his work. Nevertheless, some mistakes are unavoidable. XX a. The photograph taken at the beginning of the 19th century captures only the upper silhouette of the poet 's shoulders, below it disappears against a white background. The engraver, meanwhile, carved the entire jacket tightly, narrowing it greatly, and the head came out too big compared to the waist. ( .lit)

Vincas Kudirka Varpas Varpas

The engraving is made after this photo of Vincas Kudirka.

Vincas Kudirka (31 December [O.S. 19 December] 1858 - 16 November [O.S. 4 November] 1899) was a Lithuanian poet and physician, and the author of both the music and lyrics of the Lithuanian National Anthem, Tautiška giesmė. He is regarded in Lithuania as a National Hero. Kudirka used pen names V. Kapsas, Paežerių Vincas, Vincas Kapsas, P.Vincas, Varpas, Q.D, K., V.K, Perkūnas.

Kudirka was born in Paežeriai. He began studying history and philosophy in Warsaw in 1881, but changed his major and began studying medicine the following year. During his studies, he was arrested as a subversive for having a copy of Das Kapital in his possession, and was expelled from the University of Warsaw, but later re-admitted. He graduated in 1889, and worked as a country doctor in Šakiai and Naumiestis.

Kudirka began writing poetry in 1888. Simultaneously he became more active in the Lithuanian national rebirth movement. Together with other Lithuanian students in Warsaw, he founded the secret society Lietuva ("Lithuania"). The following year the society began publishing the clandestine newspaper Varpas ("The Bell"), which Kudirka edited and contributed to for the next ten years. In issue number 6 of Varpas, in September 1898, he published the text of Tautiška Giesmė, which would officially become in 1918, the Lithuanian National Anthem, set to music written by Kudirka himself for a violin.

Kudirka gave much to Lithuanian culture, and also published a collection of Lithuanian popular songs. He was also a noted writer of satire.

He died of tuberculosis at Naumiestis, on 16 November 1899, at age 40. The second half of Tautiška Giesmė was engraved on his gravestone.

Kudirka Vincas Kudirka

On 5 July 2009, a statue of Vincas Kudirka was unveiled beside the Gediminas Avenue, the main street of the capital Vilnius. The unveiling, by dignitaries, including the Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, coincided with festivities marking the 1000th anniversary of the first time Lithuania was mentioned in official chronicles.

From myself:

Kudirka, most likely, was a talented composer, if he wrote a Lithuanian anthem. But, I want to bring here the translation of his fable from the newspaper "Aushra" from 1885 - "Why Jews do not eat pork". The translation is made not in a poetic form, but conveys the meaning of the fable quite accurately. I will let everyone to make yours own conclusions:

"Why Jews do not eat pork," Vincas Kudirka, 1885.

"When Christ walked along the earth with his brothers - as the scriptures seem to us - and taught his saint his teachings, then he also fell into the the Lithuanian city.

Then the Jews decided to gather their crowds, having the aim of trampling down our Christ's glory. All this business properly having minted, have hidden Izya, one of them, in an inverted barrel.

And so, rising up cleverly because of the crowd, the rabbi said to Jesus Christ (hoping that he will make his honor completely dirty):

"We have heard that you have powerful power, you create unique miracles, in general - your reputation is known." "Do not you think we have to see at least one miracle from you? Then, we'll, all at once, believe in it. See that cask? Honey was stored in it. Tell us - what is there now?"

The Jews were glad of such a trick - Christ did not say a word. And the rabbi anecdotal, waving his hands.

"The pig is there," - Christ answered him.

It seemed that from the words the fun will be kindled, and for sure, the children and the elders are laughing, even without hiding their contempt.

But once - and the pig get out of the barrel! The Jews was in shock. It's hard to believe, but every thing sees the eyes. And the pig in the meantime shook his ear and squealed in an open field, where a whole herd was grazing in captivity. They wanted to find an unfortunate victim, to burn the bristles, to scrape off, to help the orphans to get their father back.

They searched for long enough - all in vain! And Izya became swine forever.

That's why the Jews do not touch the pigs. Until now, everyone is looking for Izya - but cannot find.

In all the world everybody knows these Jewish tricks - they do not bite their own, does not matter - are they fat or thin."

coat Lithuania

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. It is one of very few containing symbolism adopted from ducal portrait seals rather than from coats of arms of dynasties, which is the case for most European countries.

Article 15 of the Constitution of Lithuania, approved by national referendum in 1992, stipulates, "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 lower left and top right corners. In words lower, centered.


500 Litų 2000

The Bell of Freedom, coat of arms and Merge of the Nemunas and Merkis rivers in central Lithuania, which flows into the Neman near the settlement of Merkinė, 20 km. northeast of the city of Druskininkai. This landscape is markedly romanticized and idealized, as the artist set a goal not only to decorate the bill, as well as to awaken the patriotic feelings of the people.


As in the 500 Litu 1991 banknote, G. Jonaitis left the same landscape motif - the confluence of Merkys and the Nemunas, only changed the point of view. In his project, R. Miknevičius paid more attention to the Nemunas, marking Merkis only with a narrow shiny strip of water, while G. Jonaitis chose the picturesque Merkys Valley as the composition center. The coincidence of the tastes of both artists is not surprising - after all, it is one of the most impressive panoramas of Lithuanian nature, moreover, each of them treated the possibilities provided by this landscape for the specifics of money completely differently. R. Miknevičius looks at the wide river valley, which is romantically illuminated by the rays of sunlight bursting under the dark clouds, from a bird's eye view - even the Merkinė mound itself rises in the foreground. Above the dark hills and forests, above the bright bends of the Nemunas and in the fading clouds, the Bell of Freedom hangs, the sound of which spreads all over Lithuania. The landscape is clearly romanticized and ideologized, its purpose is to decorate a banknote, to awaken the patriotic feelings of citizens. The tonal drawing of the author was turned into a raster (from small horizontal lines) by the masters of the company, but this did not change the idealistic mood in any way. G. Jonaitis designed the banknote after he had a good understanding of the specifics of money composition, especially the banknote protection requirements and the possibilities of printing technology. He looked at the landscape in a completely different way - like the field where the banknote security package would be installed. The original view of the valley, drawn in kind by the artist, and printed on the banknote differ as day and night. The author deliberately designed landscape metamorphoses. He expressed his views on the place of the landscape in the composition of the banknote, recalling his work in the company: "When creating the banknote landscape, I sought to avoid" naked "naturalism, I tried to achieve some conditionality, I did not want a solution like our previous banknotes, where the landscape is like a picture with clouds. herbs, etc. t. I avoided the naturalistic image, thought purposefully about the perspectives of its graphic realization, modeled possible combinations of different printing methods (for example, in the landscape some of the trees are intaglio printed, some of the offset, the fields are filled with ornamentation).

The valley of the river, lazily meandering in a valley adorned with wide crop fields and cuts, meadows and bushes, turned into a vertical plane on a printed banknote, strictly divided into irregularly shaped plots covered with ornamental fabric of different character. The whole of the landscape as a picture was hit, but the protection of the high-value banknote won out. Another thing that some things could have been done better: trees and shrubs, printed in intaglio in a much darker tone, divide the whole plane into two sides of unequal stylistics, divided only by the perspective of the distant bends of the river. Even a completely identical drawing cannot unite them into one whole. The bright silhouette of the bushes interferes with the calm, even dry bell modeling. For the first time in Lithuanian money, a protective tape was reverse printed with color-changing ink. ( .lit)


The Neman, Nemunas, Nyoman, Niemen or Memel, a major Eastern European river, rises in Belarus and flows through Lithuania before draining into the Curonian Lagoon, and then into the Baltic Sea at Klaipėda. It begins at the confluence of two smaller tributaries, about 15 kilometers (9 mi.) southwest of the town of Uzda in central Belarus, and about 55 km. (34 mi.) southwest of Minsk. In its lower reaches it forms the border between Lithuania and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast. It also, very briefly, forms part of the Belarus–Lithuania border. The largest river in Lithuania, and the third-largest in Belarus, the Neman is navigable for most of its 900 km. (560 mi.) length.

The Merkys (Belarusian: Мяркіс Miarkis) is a river in southern Lithuania and northern Belarus. It flows for 13 km. (8 mi.) through Belarus, 5 km. (3 mi.) along the Belarus-Lithuanian border, and 195 km. (121 mi.) through Lithuania before joining the Nemunas near Merkinė.

Merkys is mostly fed by underground streams and therefore is cooler during summers and has smaller fluctuations in water level than other rivers in Lithuania. Near Žagarinė (128 km. or 80 mi. before its mouth) the Merkys is connected with Lake Papys by a canal. The Vokė originates from this lake and consumes most of the Merkys' water. Before the canal average discharge of the Merkys is 3 m3/s (110 cu ft/s) and below it only 0.7 m3/s (25 cu. ft/s). At the end of the XIX century the drainage basin of the Merkys grew by some 410 km2 (160 sq. mi.) as its tributary Ūla River overtook some of the Kotra's watershed area.

The Merkys is a popular destination among water tourism enthusiasts as part of it belongs to the Dzūkija National Park and it flows into the Neman near the historical site of Merkinė. Archaeological findings show that people inhabited the area as early as the Mesolithic period. The Merkys is known for its diverse fauna, being declared a reservoir for trout in 1974.

Laisvės Varpas

When the World War ended, the world took a breath. Lithuania like other war oppressed nations, had the right to look to the brighter horizon. Blood shed by Lithuanians guaranteed her liberty from slavery. The Lithuanians thought that the Allies after winning the war, would understand the sufferings of Lithuania, and would place a high value on the victims who had died for liberty.

From day to day we have waited patiently hoping that the Allies would become conscious of and recognize our nation's desire, and would grant to us liberty and independence. But unfortunately, up to this time, our desire and our demands have not been understood. Perhaps the Allies do not want to know or to understand. They tried to deliver Lithuania to the new exploiters, who since olden times, have been digging graves for us and making a coffin for our nation.

The time has arrived when duty demands that American Lithuanians take action to help their native land to gain freedom. It is necessary to go to the American government and to the whole world demanding protection for Lithuania, demanding her recognition as a free and independent country. It is necessary to present such a demand in the name of the Lithuanians living in America, and in their name speak as a body of 2 representatives. At this important moment, it is advisable to hold a convention of American Lithuanians.

The nationalists at their common council assembly in New York demanded that a convention of American Lithuanians be called. The necessity of such a convention is recognized by the boards of both common councils, held on Jan. 19, 1919, at the Tribune building, New York. At this assembly it was decided to call a convention of American Lithuanians. The nationalists demanded that such a convention should be held in New York, or in Washington, while the catholics demanded that it should be held in Pittsburgh or Cleveland. Because of the disagreement between the nationalist council and the American Lithuanian council, it looked as if the American Lithuanian convention could not be hold.

The Chicagoans, composed of the Chicago Lithuanian societies, foresaw the necessity of such a convention, and since agreement between these two councils of nationalists and Catholics seemed impossible, they took the initiative and called the American Lithuanian convention on June 9, 10, and 11, 1919, in Chicago.

The American Lithuanian convention was called by the largest organization of 3American Lithuanians in Chicago and received the support of various Lithuanian organizations throughout America: viz. the American Lithuanian council, the Prussian Lithuanian council, and one of the largest Lithuanian organizations, the Lithuanian Alliance of America.

The Chicago Lithuanian organizations decided at this convention to cast the Liberty Bell of Lithuanian to donate this bell to the American Lithuanians convention in the name of all the American Lithuanians and then to donate it to Lithuania. The idea is a noble one and is closely bound to the traditions of the people of the United States, who has so heartily received to her bosom the foreign peoples.

The bell was cast in St. Louis, Mo., and on the 5th day of June, was received in Chicago.

The Bell is more than 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide, weights 1,000 pounds without frames, 1,200 pounds with frames. On one side is cast the image of a Knight, and the following poem:

"O, ring for ages, To the children of Lithuania; He is not worthy of Liberty, Who is not defending her". This four-line poem was written by Hon. Bronius Kazys Balutis (1879-1967) and became the motto of Bell of Freedom.

On the other side of the Bell is cast in relief the following words: "The American Lithuanian Convention to Lithuania. June 9, 10 and 11, 1919. Chicago, Illinois."

Let that Bell, the symbol of liberty, testify for ages to the coming generations the sympathy and love of the American Lithuanians for their nation and for the fatherland Lithuania.

Laisvės Varpas

The unveiling and ringing of the bell for the first time occurred on June 8, 1919, in the evening before the convention, at the Chicago Auditorium Theater. At this pre-convention festival there were present over 4,000 people and many prominent representatives of the United States government. In front of the stage and to the right were seated the speakers and the prominent guests. At the left side the bell, covered with the American and Lithuanian flags was placed. At one side of the bell stood Mrs. Drangelis, representing Columbia, at the other side was Miss Staniulis, representing Lithuania. Around them and the bell in half wheel form were little girls, appropriately dressed representing virgins consecrated to the gods and to the service of watching the sacred fire. In the center of the stage was the Birutis choir, under the direction of the composer, Stanislovas Simkus. The choir was surrounded by a few hundred Lithuanian soldiers who served in the United States army during the World War.

The program began with the American and the Lithuanian National hymns. Then the bell was unveiled and rung. The ceremony, Columbia, delivering the Bell to Lithuania, was as follows:

"Cradle of ancient liberty, whose voice inspired, armed the free, unto a smiling land brought peace, and blessed thy sons with freedom's ease, Lithuania, thee I hail! Thy happy lot, from tyrants freed, inspired the base, insensate greed Of evil foes, from near and far who waged on thee unholy war, Lithuania, to the death".

Lithuania, accepting from America the donation, the symbol of liberty, answered: "In years which seemed in horror draped, Years when my soil by foe was raped, I dreamed of better, happier days, Of ancient times, through mem'ry's haze, Columbia. When o'ver my soil brute armies trod, And crushed my soul beneath my sod, I saw my sons and daughters dead, Die, as in shambles, for my weal Columbia.

After the ceremonies, speeches followed. The speeches were delivered by United States Congressmen, William Mason and A.J. Sabath, both from the state of Illinois; The Chairman of the state of Illinois legislature, Davis E. Shanahan; Judge G.F. Barrett, of Cook County; V.F. Jankus, of New York; Attorney J.S. Lopatto, of Wilkes 6Barre, Pa.; and M. Vinikas, of Washington, D.C. The governor of the state of Illinois, Frank O. Lowden, sent a letter explaining that he was unable to be present at this festival. The chairman of the evening was John I. Bagdziunas.

Laisvės Varpas

On August 15, 1920, the Liberty Bell of Lithuania, in Chicago, was passed into the hands of the government of Lithuania.

At this manifastation, the president of the Liberty Bell of Lithuania committee, delivered to the Lithuanian government through John Vileisis the symbol of liberty, the present of the American Lithuanians.

Part of the speech follows: "At this delightful opportunity, the committee of the Liberty Bell of Lithuania does great honor to the fatherland of Lithuania, through her representatives, by means of the donation of the American Lithuanians, the Liberty Bell of Lithuania. Let it (the bell) travel to Lithuania, to Vilnius on the Gedeminas Hill and stay there forever as the guard of the liberty of Lithuania. "Oh thou Bell, the symbol of liberty, we the American Lithuanians, are delivering thee to our fatherland Lithuania. Thou by being on the Gedeminas Hill, day and night, guard our fatherland. If at any time you should see the threatening danger to our fatherland, if the enemy should threaten to harm our brothers and sisters, threaten to take away their liberty, ring with full power, when we hear thy voice, we will help Lithuania. We will defend her from her enemies, no matter who they may be."

"Therefore, Honorable Mission, representatives of Lithuania, Honorable president John Vileisis, I beg you to accept this symbol of liberty, the donation of the American Lithuanians to Lithuania, with all the assets which are wrapped in the bell. I beg you to accept it with our most hearty good wishes from the American Lithuanians".

Mr. John Vileisis, after accepting the Liberty Bell, and all the assets, delivered a rich and timely address, thanking the convention for the donation and the assets.

Today the Bell of Freedom is in the Military Museum Vytautas the Great (Vytauto Didžiojo karo muziejus), in Kaunas. (

Denominations in numerals are repeated 3 times. In words - in lower right corner.


Designer: Giedrius Jonaitis.