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100 Francs 1974, France

in Krause book Number: 149d
Years of issue: 04.07.1974
Signatures: Le Controleur General: G. Bouchet, Le Caissier General: P. Vergnes, Le Secretaire General: H. Morant
Serie: 1962 - 1966 Issue
Specimen of: 02.07.1964
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 172 x 92
Printer: Banque de France, Chamalieres

* 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.

100 Francs 1974




Portraits of a Roman laureate man and a helmeted warrior.


100 Francs 1974

Pierre Corneille Pierre Corneille

Pierre Corneille (6 June 1606 – 1 October 1684) was a French tragedian. He is generally considered one of the three great seventeenth-century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine.

As a young man, he earned the valuable patrionate of Cardinal Richelieu, who was trying to promote classical tragedy along formal lines, but later quarrelled with him, especially over his best-known play, Le Cid, about a medieval Spanish warrior, which was denounced by the newly formed Académie française for breaching the unities. He continued to write well-received tragedies for nearly forty years.

The son of a Rouen official. Graduated from the Jesuit College (1622; now - the Corneille Lyceum). Licentiate of jurisprudence (1624). For four years he trained as a lawyer at the Rouen Parliament. In 1628 he received the position of prosecutor, but he was not very interested in his official career. Until 1635 he held various official positions, in 1647 he became a member of the French Academy, in 1662 he moved to Paris.

Officials were not elected to the academy, and therefore, Corneille, like other academicians, had to excel in fine literature. By the time of his election, he was known as the writer of the "gallant" poems and comedies "Melita, or Podpotnye Letters", "Clitander, or Innocence Liberated", the tragedy "Medea", the tragicomedy "Sid", in the center of which is the relationship between the personality and the absolutist state, which marked the beginning of the theater of French classicism, where the author's sympathies were on the side of the authorities.

These sympathies became even more evident in the tragedies "Horace", "Cinna, or the Mercy of Augustus." By the beginning of 1644, starting with the tragedies of Rodogun, Theodore and The Death of Pompey, Corneille was disappointed in absolutism, and these tragedies of him were called the “second manner” in literary criticism, for their content is not the fate of the nation, and the image of a tyrant monarch and the passions of court intriguers and rogues boiling around him.

After his election as an academician, he wrote the tragedies "Nycomed" and "Suren", testifying to a sharp decline in his talent.

The last years of his life, Cornelle spent very secluded and was in extremely cramped circumstances. It was only thanks to the efforts of his friend Boileau that Corneille was given a small pension. Cornelle died in Paris, in complete poverty, and only the Great French Revolution of 1789 brought him posthumous fame.

Opéra Royal de Versailles

Behind the portrait is The Royal Opera of Versailles in Château de Versailles.

The Royal Opera of Versailles (French: Opéra royal de Versailles) is the main theatre and opera house of the Palace of Versailles. Designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, it is also known as the Théâtre Gabriel. The interior decoration by Augustin Pajou is constructed almost entirely of wood, painted to resemble marble in a technique known as faux marble. The excellent acoustics of the opera house are at least partly due to its wooden interior.

The house is located at the northern extremity of the north wing of the palace. General public access to the theater is gained through the two-story vestibule. Some parts of the Opéra, such as the King's Loge and the King's Boudoir represent some of the earliest expressions of what would become known as Louis XVI style.

Lully’s Persée - written in 1682, the year Louis XIV moved into the palace - inaugurated the Opéra on 16 May 1770 in celebration of the marriage of the dauphin - the future Louis XVI - to Marie Antoinette.

The Opéra Royal can serve either as a theater for opera, stage plays, or orchestral events, when it can accommodate an audience of 712, or as a ballroom, when the floor of the orchestra level of the auditorium can be raised to the level of the stage. On these occasions, the Opéra can accommodate 1,200.

Long before the Opera Royal was dreamed of, theatre was becoming an important part of French society. Beginning with the reign of Louis XIII, the frequency and regularity of theatrical performances had increased: the show was considered as much an entertainment as it was an expression of power. The idea of it being an expression of power can be traced to one of Louis XIII's regents, Cardinal Richelieu. Richelieu wanted to create an image of the king (and France) that displayed well roundedness in all thing, a society who dabbled not only in politics or court, but music and art and theatre. He envisioned a force to lead the way, culturally. Attending a theatrical performance was quickly becoming a sign of stature, and though few permanent theatre spaces were created at this time, theatre found itself performed anyway. It is pertinent to note that until the final installation of the Versailles court, performances of operas and ballets, comedies and tragedies, were performed mainly in the gardens.

Soon, however, spaces that were frequently used for performances would become specific performance spaces. In time the royal residences equipped themselves little by little with fixed theatres, although they often continued to use temporary structures and installations one could disassemble in various places: galleries, staircases, lounges, gardens. These staged productions were important for many reasons. Little divertissements for the court, they also were at times used by royalty for their own reasons. Louis XIV's performance during the Ballet de la nuit, for example, was a statement of his power, his coming of age, and the fact that he was ready to take the throne with no regents. Indeed, his performance as Apollo is what earned him the name Sun King. Stage productions such as operas and ballets were important during the reigns of the Bourbon monarchs in France. Louis XIV in particular employed these and similar art forms extensively not only to entertain the noblemen in his court but also to promote his own self-image and the gloire of his country. Although he desired an Opera for his beloved Versailles, during the second half of Louis' reign, most operas, ballets and other staged divertissements for court and the public appeared indoors, in theatres or in other sites arranged as required for individual productions.

During the early years of his reign of Louis XIV, theatres were often temporary structures, built for a particular event and destroyed after their use. The first such theater was constructed for the fête of the Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée, which was held in 1664. In the area west of what is now the Bassin d’Apollon, a temporary theater was constructed in which Molière's Princesse d’Élide débuted on 8 May. During this fête an additional theatre was erected inside the chateau for the presentation of three other plays by Molière: Les Fâcheux, Le Mariage Forcé, and Tartuffe, which premiered in an incomplete, albeit contentious, form. None of these theatres survived this fête.

The Grand Divertissement royal of 1668, which celebrated the end of the War of Devolution, witnessed the construction of a luxurious temporary theater built in the gardens on the site of the future Bassin de Bacchus. Constructed of papier-mâché, which was either gilded or painted to resemble marble and lapis lazuli, the theater seated 1,200 spectators who attended the debut of Molière's George Dandin on 18 July 1668. As with the Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée, this theater was destroyed shortly after the end of the fête.

The third fête or, more accurately, a series of six fêtes - Les Divertissments de Versailles - were held in July and August 1674 to celebrate the second conquest of Franche-Comté. The fête featured a number of theatrical productions that were staged throughout the grounds in temporary theaters. On 4 July, Lully's Alceste was performed for the court in the Cour de Marbre; on 11 July, Quinault's L'Églogue de Versailles was staged near the Trianon de Porcelaine; eight days later, the Grotte de Thétys served as the setting for Molière's le Malade Imaginaire; and Racine's Iphigénie debuted on 18 August in a theater constructed in the Orangerie.

At the bottom are flowers and trophies of arms (trophées d'armes).

A trophy or trophy of arms in art and architecture is a real or depicted artistically assembled display of weaponry and other militaria, often captured from a defeated enemy, as an ornament designed for the purpose of triumphalist display by a victor or as a show of military prowess by a monarch. Similar decorative vertical arrangements of hunting accessories, musical instruments or other objects are also commonly referred to as trophies.

The term comes from the ancient Greek tropaion and Roman equivalent tropaeum, military victories which were commemorated with a display of actual captured arms, armour and standards. The use of trophies as an ornament in decoration became popular in the Italian Renaissance, and as an architectural element in relief or free-standing sculpture during the Baroque era, where they are often used as a kind of finial to decorate rooflines, gate columns and other elements of buildings with military associations, which included most royal palaces.


100 Francs 1974

Pierre Corneille Pierre Corneille

Again, a portrait of Pierre Corneille, but now looking from right to left.


On background is the view on Rouen - where Pierre Corneille was born.

Rouen is a city on the River Seine in northern France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy. Formerly one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe. People from Rouen are known as Rouennais.

Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the XI to the XV centuries. From the XIII century onwards, the city experienced a remarkable economic boom, thanks in particular to the development of textile factories and river trade. Claimed by both the French and the English during the Hundred Years' War, it was on its soil that Joan of Arc was tried and burned alive on 30 May 1431. Severely damaged by the wave of bombing in 1944, it nevertheless regained its economic dynamism in the post-war period thanks to its industrial sites and its large seaport, which today is the fifth largest in France.


Endowed with a prestige established during the medieval era, and with a long architectural heritage in its historical monuments, Rouen is an important cultural capital. Several renowned establishments are located here, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Secq des Tournelles museum, and Rouen Cathedral.

Seat of an archdiocese, it also hosts a court of appeal and a university. Every four to six years, Rouen becomes the showcase for a large gathering of sailing ships called "L'Armada"; this event makes the city an occasional capital of the maritime world.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen

Right, behind the portrait is Rouen Cathedral visibile.

Rouen Cathedral (French: Cathédrale primatiale Notre-Dame de l'Assomption de Rouen) is a Roman Catholic church in Rouen, Normandy, France. It is the see of the Archbishop of Rouen, Primate of Normandy. It is famous for its three towers, each in a different style. The cathedral, built and rebuilt over a period of more than eight hundred years, has features from Early Gothic to late Flamboyant and Renaissance architecture. It also has a place in art history as the subject of a series of impressionist paintings by Claude Monet.

For the first time, the existence of a Rouen bishop is mentioned under the year 314. At the end of the 4th century, a basilica was built on the site of the modern cathedral. Archaeological excavations show that the episcopal complex of Rouen consisted of two churches (dedicated to Our Lady - the cathedral - and St. Stephen), and probably a baptistery. In 841, a fire during a Viking raid destroyed the complex. Since the political situation in Rouen remained uncertain, the complex was not rebuilt. In 911, Rouen became the capital of the Duchy of Normandy, and the first Duke of Rollon was baptized under the name Robert in a simple basilica. Around 1020, work begins on a new Romanesque cathedral. Only the crypt has survived from it. The entire remaining cathedral is built in the Gothic style.

The most ancient part of the Gothic cathedral is the north tower (Saint-Romain tower), built in 1145. It completely burned out on June 1, 1944 after the bombing, only the walls remained from the original building. The South Tower (Oil Tower) was built in 1485. The nave was built in 1200 when the existing Romanesque nave collapsed in a fire. The only surviving original portal is the northern portal of John the Theologian, representing scenes from the life of John the Theologian and John the Baptist. It was restored several times after 1769. Two other portals were badly damaged in the 16th century. The Archbishop's Palace, which forms a single complex with the cathedral, is a contemporary of the Gothic cathedral.

The cathedral suffered from a hurricane in the XVIII century, and then received severe damage during the bombing of Rouen by the Allies in 1944 during the Second World War: on April 19, the nave and chapels were severely damaged (hit by seven bombs, of which six exploded), and after the bombing on May 31 it burned out north tower. During a severe storm in December 1999, the bell tower was damaged.


Length: 137 m.

Facade width: 61.60 m.

Length of the nave: 60 m.

The width of the nave: 11.30 m.

Height of the nave: 28 m.

Lamp suspension height: 51 m.

Choir length: 34.30 m.

Choir width: 12.70 m.

Height of the Saint-Romain tower: 82 m.

Height of the Oil Tower: 75 m.

Spire height: 151 m.

Parlement de Normandie

At the bottom, on left side is The courthouse or Le Palais de Justice (Parlement de Normandie) in Rouen. Address: Rue aux Juifs, 36.

The former Normandy Parliament building today can be considered one of the most monumental and most beautiful examples of Gothic secular architecture, not only in Rouen, but throughout the country. Along with the cathedral, the churches of Saint-Ouen and Saint-Maclou, it is one of the most important Gothic landmarks in the city. The building on Judeyskaya Street was built on the site of the former Jewish quarter, empty after the expulsion of the Jews by William the Conqueror in 1306.

The oldest part of the palace is the west (left) wing, built in 1499 for the Chess Chamber, which was converted into the Parliament of Normandy in 1515. In 1508, construction began on a new building north of the first, behind the courtyard, and it was completed in the middle of the 16th century. This part of the palace is very richly decorated, and large windows, a crenellated balustrade decorated with numerous spiers and open buttresses make it look like a fairytale castle. The eastern building (to the right of the courtyard) was built in the 19th century, and on its walls you can still see the traces left by the Allied bombing in 1944.

The French were not very happy with the way in which the Allies liberated Rouen in 1944, and the walls with traces of shells are not specially restored to emphasize this dissatisfaction.

In 1976, during the renovation of the palace, the remains of a beautiful stone building in the Romanesque style were discovered under the masonry of the courtyard. It was identified as one of the premises of the old yeshiva (in the Jewish tradition - an educational institution), which is dated around 1100.The excavated Jewish monument, as it was called, was immediately covered with an archaeological crypt: it is considered the oldest Jewish monument found in France (and throughout Western Europe) today. The monument can be seen under the stairs in the eastern part of the courtyard.

Today, the former Parliament building houses the court, and travelers wishing to inspect the palace from the inside can come to the meeting: according to French law, most trials are held in public. In addition, part of the premises is occupied by a museum and a library, where, among other things, ancient manuscripts are stored. ( .rus)

La Petite Maison La Petite Maison

At the bottom, on right side is The Little House (House, where Corneille was born).

Open free to the public, this interesting historic house was the birthplace and long-time residence of XVII-century lawyer and playwright Pierre Corneille, author of the tragicomedy Le Cid and one of The Five Authors (Les Cinq Auteurs) employed by Cardinal Richelieu.

It was here where Corneille lived for over fifty years and composed the majority of his literary works.

Purchased by the Corneille family in the late XVI century, spared demolition in the XVIII century, converted to use as a drinking establishment, and ultimately purchased by the city of Rouen (with help from American financier J.P. Morgan), the property – formerly known as La Petite Maison or The Little House – has been restored and partially remodeled over the years. The present-day building features a unique exterior facade of half-timbered beams and decorative shingles. (

At the bottom is an inscription: "L'Article 139 du Code Pénal Punit de la Réclusion Criminelle a Perpetuité Ceux qui Auront Contrefait ou Falsifié les Billets de Banque Autorisés par la Loi. Ainsi que Ceux qui Auront Fait Usage de Ces Billets Contrefaits ou Falsifiés. Ceux qui les Auront Introduits en France Seront Punis de la Même Peine."

In English: "Article 139 of the Penal Code punishes criminal imprisonment for those who have counterfeited or falsified bank notes authorized by the law. As well as those who will have made use of these counterfeit or forged tickets. Those who introduced them in France will be punished by the same penalty."


Obverse Designer: Le Feuvre.

Reverse designer: Georges Beltrand.

Intaglio: Jules Piel.

Obverse and Reverse engraver: Poillot.