header Notes Collection

25 Latu 1938, Latvia

in Krause book Number: 21
Years of issue: 14.09.1938 - 25.03.1941
Edition: Serial B - 600 000
Signatures: Padomes priekšsēdētājs: Adolfs Klīve, Galvenais Direktors: Kārlis Vanags
Serie: Latvijas Bankas
Specimen of: 1938
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 140 х 75
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.

25 Latu 1938




Kārlis Augusts Vilhelms Ulmanis (September 4, 1877 - September 20, 1942) was a prominent Latvian politician in pre-World War II Latvia during the Latvian period of independence from 1918 to 1940.

On May 15, 1934, ostensibly to protect the country from a coup by right-wing extremists known as the Legion, led by Lt. Col. Voldemārs Ozols, Ulmanis as Prime Minister dissolved the Saeima (Parliament) and established executive non-parliamentary authoritarian rule. Several officers from the Army and units of the national guard (Latvian: Aizsargi) loyal to Ulmanis moved against key government offices, communications and transportation facilities. Many elected officials were illegally detained, as were any military officers that resisted the coup d'etat.

Ulmanis was a popular leader, especially among the farmers, during whose leadership Latvia recorded major economic achievements. During Ulmanis' rule, education was strongly emphasized and literacy rates in Latvia reached high levels.

He was a Latvian nationalist, who espoused the slogan "Latvia for Latvians" and held that every ethnic community in Latvia should develop its own authentic national culture, instead of assimilating.[vague] The policy of Ulmanis, even before his access to power, was openly directed toward eliminating the minority groups from economic life and of giving Latvians access to all positions in the national economy - sometimes referred to as Lettization. According to some estimates, about 90% of the banks and credit establishments in Latvia were in Latvian hands in 1939, against 20% in 1933.

As the result, the economic share of minorities - Germans, Jews, Russians, Lithuanians - declined. However, Ulmanis didn't allow any physical violence or unlawful acts towards minorities and dealt harshly with right- and left- wing extremists, and with both Nazi and Communist sympathizers. Between 1920 and 1938, many Jews, escaping Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, found refuge in Latvia.

On July 21, 1940 Ulmanis was forced to resign and asked the Soviet government for a pension and to allow him to emigrate to Switzerland. Instead, he ended up in Stavropol in the present Russia, where he worked in his original profession for a year. In July 1941, he was imprisoned. A year later, as German armies were closing in on Stavropol, he and other inmates were evacuated to a prison in Krasnovodsk in present day Turkmenistan. On the way there, he contracted dysentery and soon died on 20 September 1942. Ulmanis had no wife or children, as he used to say that he was married to Latvia.


25 Latu 1938

Lāčplēsis Lāčplēsis

Engraving of Lāčplēsis is made after Lāčplēsis sculpture on on the facade of the building of the Seimas of Latvia.

The author of the sculpture is Latvian and German sculptor Rihards Maurs (12.01.1888 - 06.03.1966).

In 1922, according to the project of the architect E. Laube, the building of the Diet was restored, where a fire broke out: the main hall and the sculpture of Walter von Plettenberg in a niche on the facade burned down. According to Maurs' design, a large state emblem was made in the main hall, exactly the same was placed on the facade of the building. Later, a sculpture by Maurs Lacplesis, which was already known to the public from banknotes, was installed in the vacant niche on the facade. True, the sculpture itself was considered not very successful - the pose of the Latvian hero was too unnatural.


The original Lachplesis from the façade of the Sejm building died, but recently, with the money of the patron Yevgeny Gomberg, the sculpture was restored from old photographs. Maurs dreamed of installing another colossal "Lacplesis" near the mouth of the Daugava, so that he would meet the arriving ships. Many of his ideas remained just beautiful ideas, and the embodied works were soon completely forgotten. ( .rus)


Lāčplēsis (Lachplesis) - translated as "tearing the bear". This is the name of the protagonist, the epos of the same name, recreated by Andrey Pumpur according to folk legends. The image of Lacplesis embodies the greatness and heroism of the people. It symbolizes the courage of a person who cleans the land of invaders.

The work was written in the XIX century, during the Latvian national awakening. At that time, it was widely believed in Europe that a nation can be identified by the fact that it has a national epic.

The Finnish epic Kalevala was published in 1835, and the Estonian Kalevipoeg was published in 1861.

In Latvia, it was realized by Andrei Pumpurs, and during the 3rd Latvian Song Festival in 1888, the heroic epic "Lacplesis" was released.

Unlike the Finnish and Estonian texts, the Latvian story does not use original folk songs. but it is also largely based on Latvian folklore.

The poem opens at the council of the Baltic gods in the palace of the thunder god Perkons, in the sky, where he declares that the Latvians are under threat because the Christian crusaders are going to conquer the Baltic lands and enslave the Latvian people.

"Percons rose and said:

Even we - the gods - have no power

Resist the fate of the command.

But on oath I promise

To keep my Latvian people.

Hear what I tell you:

Christ's teaching is not new, -

It originated in the east.

But the bearers of this faith

They have a secret intent

Pick up the Baltic lands

And plunge my people into slavery."

Then all the gods promise to protect the Latvians as they can.

When the meeting comes to an end, the young fairy Staburadze unexpectedly comes and asks for advice on what to do: she saved a young man drowning in the Daugava River, where he should have turned to stone, but she took pity on the young man and brought him to her crystal palace. But mortals have no way out of the palace, if he leaves, then he turns to stone, she asks to leave him in the palace.

Percons answered her that she should not be afraid and lead the rescued person through the gate, because he chose this person for an important business and would not allow him to become a stone.

Then the story goes back a few days and tells how Lachplesis was thrown into the Daugava.

The reader of the poem learns about the origin of the hero, how he got his name, how he learned about the traitor Kangar, how he met the witch Spidola, his faithful friend Koknesis and his betrothed, Laimdota, and about many of his feats that he performed defending the Latvian people.

Naturally, there was a love story, jealousy, slander and the like, but then everything becomes clear, evil is defeated and the heroes return home and celebrate a double wedding.

This only applies to the lyrical line, but what about the crusaders?

And then there was the following story.

After several battles, the Germans were driven back, but their leader, Bishop Albert, brings reinforcements from Germany, including the Dark Knight.

By order of Dietrich, Kangars, the traitor who was discussed at the beginning, and who is plotting throughout the entire poem, learns the secret of Lacplesis's power and reveals it to the Germans:

Lacplesis's mother was a bear, and his superhuman strength was in his bear ears.

German knights come to Lielvarde with a proposal to make peace.

Lacplesis organizes a friendly tournament at Lielvarde Castle, during which he is pushed to fight the Dark Knight.


During the battle, the knight cuts off Lacplesis's right ear, and he loses strength in his right hand. Lachplesis gets angry and breaks the Dark Knight's armor with his left hand, but his sword also broke from such a blow.

The dark knight fought back, chopping off Lachplesis's left ear, which made him lose strength in his left hand. Then they continue hand-to-hand combat.

Lachplesis manages to throw the Dark Knight into the Daugava, but he himself falls into the river.

"The fighting is getting closer

We approached the shore.

Finally rolled off the cliff

Lachplesis of the enemy,

But he himself fell with him,

We are carried away by the weight

His heavy armor. Splashed

The noisy waters of the Daugava,

And in the abyss both disappeared

Furious warrior.

A terrible female scream rang out

In the castle. This is Limedota

At the same moment

Her finished life ..."

Lāčplēsis Lāčplēsis

At the end of the poem, the hope is expressed that the battle between Lacplesis and the Dark Knight is not over yet, one day Lacplesis will win, then new times will come and Latvians will be free again.

"Following Lachplesis soon

And other knights

Fell one after another in battles

With unequal power.

Strangers have come. Ferociously

German bars ruled.

And our dear people are bitter

Slave for centuries.

But the people through the centuries

Remembers, glorifies the knight,

For the people, he is not dead.

In the golden palace he

Sleeps near Lielvarde, deep

In the Daugava under the island.

And to this day the boatmen

Sometimes about midnight

They see how they embrace each other,

Two ghosts are fighting.

The light flashes

In this moment in ruins

Castle. And closer to the cliff,

Closer fighting

Approach into the abyss

The waves are crashing down.

The light goes out. In the tower

A melancholy cry is heard ...

Limedota looks at the battle

Waiting for the victory of the knight."


But one day the time will come -

Lachplesis of the enemy

Throw one off the cliff

And drown in a whirlpool.

And then the people will rise

To new days, free days!"


On the right and left sides are the branches with oak leaves. Also shown are stripes of Latvian patterns, with motifs from the Lielvarde belt.


At the bottom, centered, on on the wreath of oak leaves are Sakta and national wreath from Kurzeme (south-west of Latvia, former Liepaja district).

The most common item of jewellery was a brooch or pin (Latvian: sakta). One or more of these would be used either to fasten the neck opening of a shirt, or to keep a shawl in place.

Brooches were usually silver, except in western Latvia (Kurzeme), where they might be plated with bronze.

Although brooches might be adorned with red or blue-coloured stones, the most commonly found gem is amber. This appears on brooches, and also was used to make beads for necklaces, especially in southern Latvia. As might be expected, the more jewellery worn with a folk costume, the wealthier the owner.


Behind Sakta is a wreath or crown (vainags) from Kurzeme (Nīca Municipality, Bārta Municipality).

It was a long-standing tradition in Latvia that the type of head covering worn indicated a female's marital status. The symbolic covering for an unmarried maiden was a wreath or crown (vainags). (In Liv regions, a ribbon served the same purpose) The actual style of wreath, the materials, and the pattern of embroidery used would vary significantly from region to region, but the practice of wearing a vaiņags at festive occasions was consistent across Latvia.

On the other hand, married women typically wore caps, or elaborate head cloths, with a festive folk costume. On the right you see a young girl wearing a typical vaiņags, while the two married ladies on the left side of the photograph are wearing frilly caps with red bands.

These head coverings were used for festive wear, as both married women and single girls would wear homespun head scarves for daily wear.

Inscription, centered: "Valsts kases zīmes nodrošinātas to pilnā nomināla vērtībā" or in English "Government treasury bills are accepted at their full face value".

Denomination is in the middle, in words. In all corners are in numerals.


25 Latu 1938

Five rafts on the Daugava River near the cliff Staburags.


Initially, the Daugava was winding and rapids. Until the middle of the last century, the river valley below Jēkabpils was squeezed by sheer walls made of Devonian sandstones, gypsum and dolomites. They rose to a height of 30 m. This part of the Daugava was compared to the Rhine Gorge in the Slate Mountains - steep banks, the ruins of ancient castles on them ...

After the construction of a cascade of three hydropower plants, there are practically no rapids on the river. Through movement has become impossible. But before it boiled! Salmon went up the river to spawn, and the Forest was floated down to the port of Riga.

Before the construction of the Kegums HPP, thousands of rafts arrived in Riga every year. And these are only those who successfully crossed all the thresholds. The rafts scattered on the stones turned the raft from "raft" to "mole", that is, into an alloy of loose logs...

Daugava Daugava

Who are the raftsmen?

And in the rain and cold, from morning to evening, they balanced on logs, in the open air, stood ankle-deep in water. Neither dry out nor warm up. Only work warmed. Apart from a homemade hut for the night, there was no other shelter during the rafting. The most important thing was to bring the raft through the port without breaking it on the rapids. Naturally, this work could not be called easy. (Виктор Подлубный .rus)


Before the war, there was a joke among the people...

"There are actually 6 raftsmen on the banknote.

- Where is the sixth?

- And the sixth is Ulmanis".

Because the watermark of the banknote shows the President of Latvia, from 1934 to 1940, Karlis Ulmanis.

Staburags Staburags Staburags

Staburags Staburags Staburags

Staburags Staburags Staburags

Staburags Staburags Staburags

Staburags Staburags

The Staburags cliff of Rauna has been Latvia’s most distinct travertine cliff since the great Staburags cliff of the Daugava River sank under the waves during the construction of a hydroelectric power plant nearby. The cliff is approximately 8,000 years old and is still being formed as lime, settles on moss and other plants. The Staburags cliff of Rauna is cited as the only location in Latvia of the Alpine butter wort, but it has not been seen there for the last 15 years. That is probably, because of the many people, who tramp across the cliff each year. The streams, which deliver lime to the cliff are the isotope, that is of priority at the EU level.

For thousands of years history of settlement Latvia Staburags cliff (often called Staburadze) towering above the bank of the Daugava River, has become one of the most legendary places in Latvia.

In the 1939 edition of Encyclopædia "Latviesu konversacijas vardnica" writes about Staburags as:

"Staburags, Staburadze - limestone cliff on the left bank of the Daugava River in Staburags Parish (Staburaga pagasts), whose top is about eighteen and a half meters ... To this day, there is a continuous process of liming rock. Thanks to the process of liming, it looks as the soil is oozes by white deposits, so the people gives it the name - Weeping cliff. On the cliff are a lot of different flowers, including Pinguicula alpina, also known as the alpine butterwor, which occurs in Latvia only at Staburags. The cliff considered as protected monument of nature".

Cliff Staburags for hundreds of years was one of the main characters in the Latvian poetic legends, stories, Dainas and legends. The cliff itself and the surrounding area were considered sacred and miraculous. For many years, hundreds of thousands of people came here hoping to be healed of their diseases or find peace. Traders do not sail, without leaving on a cliff some generous gifts. The Knights certainly prayed here, before heavy military campaigns and the builders have not started to build a castle or cathedral without support of the mysterious and powerful forces of the cliff.

It is known, that ancient warriors Sellonians (old latvian tribe) used to live in these places, here made ​​their magic rituals, have been going to war. Here praised the gods after the victory, treated wounds and dedicated young men in knights.

Staburags is also mentioned in the epic "Lachplesis":

Staburags, who is in eternal sleep, turns out to be the beloved of the young fairy Staburadze. The heroine of the epic is sad for her eternally dormant lover and among those living on earth she feels abandoned and alone by everyone.

"How long is her, long is the sad century

In a mass enveloped in slumber

Sorrows of the hoarding Stabrags,

Among the eternal gods, lonely,

How long will she cry, how long will she cry

About the sad fate of the Baltics?"

Andrejs Pumpurs used this and other legends when creating Latvian epic Lāčplēsis.


In the north Staburags parish borders the Daugava, considering the fact that the Daugava was an important provider of international contacts in the past, this affected lifestyle and occupation of the local people. Timber rafting and fishing were the most developed industries in this area, in the waters of the Daugava there lived a lot of valuable fishes: salmon, lamprey, eels. The part of Sēlpils parish which was known by historians as Vīgante county, was renamed to Staburags village in 1945, but in 1990 it was renamed to Staburags parish. The name of this parish has originated from the Staburags Cliff (18,5 m.), 2016 marks the 50th anniversary since this unique nature object is under water - due to the construction of Pļaviņu HPP the cliff was flooded. The Staburags Cliff was located in Staburags and Sece parishes. During the manor existence period in this area there were several pubs and some manors. Voldemārs Zālītis (Voldis) - a Latvian writer - spent his childhood in the beautiful surroundings of Vīgante manor and the writer immortalized the beauty of this place in his novel "The children of Staburags " (1895).

Staburags Parish (Staburaga pagasts) is an administrative unit of the Aizkraukle District, Latvia.

Latvian coat of arms on the left side.

coat coat

The image of the golden rising sun with 11 wide wavy rays, between which there were 10 narrow wavy rays, was also placed in the azure upper half of the shield of the State Emblem of the Republic of Latvia, approved on June 16, 1921 by the Constitutional (Constituent) Assembly of Latvia, the draft of which was created by the returnee from Petrograd by the graphic artist Rihards Germanovich Zariņš, together with Vilis Krūmiņš, (the artist himself signed "Zarrinsh" in Russian, Rihards Zariņš, 1869-1939), who until 1917 held the position of technical and artistic director of the Expedition of Preparing State Papers (EZGB ) Of the Russian Empire and the Provisional Government (according to his projects, banknotes and postage stamps of the All-Russian Provisional Government were issued in 1905-1917).

The lower half of the shield of the Latvian coat of arms was cut, in the right silver field was depicted a wormy rebellious lion from the historical coat of arms of Courland and Semigale, symbolizing Kurzeme and Zemgale, and a silver griffin from the historical coat of arms of Livonia, symbolizing Vidzeme and Latgale.

Above the shield, three golden five-pointed stars were depicted in an arc of a circle, touching each other with two rays, symbolizing the unity of the three historical parts of Latvia - Kurzeme and Zemgale, Vidzeme and Latgale. ( .ru)

The inscription at the bottom: "Par latvijas bankas naudas Zimju viltosanu, vai viltotu zimju uzglabasanu un izplatisanu vainigos sodis saskana ar sodu likumiem".

In English: "Penalty for counterfating of Latvian money, or for the storage and distribution of counterfeit goods, is due in accordance with laws".

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



Common design - a group of artists.

Cliff Staburags and Daugava with rafts - author Oskars Norītis.

I became interested in the question - "Why is the State Treasury (Latvijas valsts kases zime) designated by the issuer on the 10 Lat banknotes, and the Bank of Latvia (Latvijas Bankas) is the issuer on other banknotes?"

I had to start translating the article - in the article the answer to the above question !, in Latvian, I apologize for possible translation errors.

In addition, I, unexpectedly, went to the digitized archive of Latvian periodicals, where I found an article from the Russian-language newspaper Vechernee Vremya, dated November 24, 1924, just on the topic.

Please, read here.