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200 Litų 1997, Lithuania

in Krause book Number: 63
Years of issue: 1997
Edition: --
Signatures: Lietuvos Banko Valdybos Pirmininkas: Reinoldijus Sarkinas (in office from 15.02.1996 till 15.04.2011)
Serie: 1997 - 2001 Issue
Specimen of: 1997
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 135 x 65
Printer: Giesecke und Devrient GmbH, Muenchen

* 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.

200 Litų 1997




Wilhelm Storost.


200 Litų 1997


The engraving on banknote, presumably, is made after this photo of Vydūnas. The date and author of the photo are unknown.

Wilhelm Storost, artistic name Vilius Storostas-Vydūnas (22 March 1868 - 20 February 1953), mostly known as Vydūnas, was a Prussian-Lithuanian teacher, poet, humanist, philosopher and Lithuanian writer and philosopher, a leader of the Prussian Lithuanian national movement in Lithuania Minor, and one of leaders of the theosophical movement in East Prussia.

The Storost family was for centuries living in East-Prussia and Wilhelm was born in the village Jonaten (Lithuanian: Jonaičiai), near Heydekrug, in the Kingdom of Prussia. Wilhelm Storost was the name on his German passport, while Vilimas or Vilius Storostas was the literature Lithuanian form used by himself, his family, and other Lithuanians. "Vydūnas" was added to his surname as a pseudonym when he was about 40 years old. Storost was married to Klara Füllhase.

Storost was educated as teacher at the Präparandenanstalt in Pillkallen (1883-1885) and at teacher seminar in Ragnit (1885-88). From 1888 to 1892 he was a teacher in Kinten (lit. Kintai), when he went to teach at a boys school in Tilsit until 1912 and taught German, French, English, Lithuanian and sports. In 1912 he left his teaching position in order to take up philosophical studies, which he took at the universities of Greifswald, Halle, Leipzig and Berlin. 1918/19 he taught Lithuanian at the Seminar for Oriental Languages in Berlin under the director Eduard Sachau.

Vydunas Vydunas

Back in Tilsit he dedicated himself to reestablishment of Lithuanian Culture, especially folks songs and rural traditions. He directed a choir and wrote songs as well as theater plays. From 1933 on he worked in Memel at the music school.

1932 he wrote a book Sieben Hundert Jahren Deutsch-Litauischer Beziehung (Seven Hundred Years German Lithuanian relations). His idea of understanding between folks groups did not please the Nazis and in 1933 the book was outlawed. 1938 he was shortly incarcerated, but because of protests released after two months.

Together with nearly all of the people of East Prussia he was expelled during Communist take-over and lived in a refugee camp for some time. He died in Detmold, West Germany. His grand nephews, Jürgen Storost, recently explained, that Wilhelm Storost's answered his friend Viktor Falkenhahn, that "his use of the pen name Vydunas was his chosen anthroposophic mission; that he did not want to be a "pavydunas", but a "vydunas" (one who wishes everyone everything good).

Vydūnas was active in the old Lithuanian pagan religion (see Romuva). However, he never declared the revival of the pagan religion as either his personal goal or a goal of Lithuanians, remaining a national leader but not a religious one. His moral influence transcended the confines of being a typical political leader or a writer at his time. He was compared by later biographers with national leaders in India of his time, such as Rabindranath Tagore or Mohandas Gandhi. Pantheistic universalism, not predefined with participating in any obligatory religious practice, was one of the leading ideas of his philosophy, and gained him later fame as a pioneer of both pagan revival and theosophy in Lithuania.

Vydūnas was an ethical vegetarian, and wrote several essays about his ethical choices.

He was considered a candidate for the Nobel Prize by Lithuanian writers association.

The coat of arms is centered.

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 ("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.

Lower, left, are three triangles for visually impared.

Denominations in numerals are in top right and lower left corners. In words lower, centered.


200 Litų 1997

Memel Leuchturm

Klaipeda (Memel) lighthouse on German postcard from 1930-th.

The northernmost city Memelis (Memel, Memelburg, Klaipėda) was started in 1252 in the kingdom of Prussia after the construction of the castle. The city became an important trading port in the fifteenth and eighteenth century because of the location between the Baltic Sea, the Curonian Lagoon and the River Dane intersection. In the fifteenth century trade of the Hansa union (Hansa teutonica) thrived in Lithuania. Plenty of wood and other goods were floated through the river Nemunas to Memelis city and then full of cargo sailing ships made their way to Amsterdam, London, Hansa cities. In the sixteen century the merchants' guild was established and it gained the privilege of free trade with the unlimited import - export right, also the sea customs were started to collect in Memelis.

Navigation equipment became the necessity for the port. In 1670 J.Naronskis-Narūnavičius drew up a plan by which the first sign of navigation for the ships was marked on the dunes at Smiltynė. It was a pole with a round shield at the top.

In 1684 on the carving of Ch.Hartknoch the first primitive lighthouse showed the way to the port of Danes, it was simple carbonic lamp on a pole, known as “The swings of black diamonds”. It gave just little benefit, because it was not necessary during the day and during the night it was hardly seen.

Memelis City Council tried to remedy the situation and in 1788 they decided to build 25 meters high lighthouse in the northern side of the channel "100 rods of the sea" (a rod-3.72 meters). A prepared project in 1778 by S. Johan Lilienthal, the inspector of port construction, was chosen. (Note: “Švyturys” brewery of Klaipėda was founded in 1784).

There were no proper financing to the construction of the lighthouse, so it began in 1792 on the 9.6 m. high drifted sand hill. Under the foundations there were beat wooden poles in order the tower wouldn’t fall down and on the poles were laid timbered frame on which the building had been built. Lighthouse consisted of two volumes - a cylindrical tower and semicircle shaped structure. Due to shortage of funds instead of the planned 25 meter high stone tower there was built only 17.2 meter. The light device consisted of 9 shortened cone-shaped reflectors (five of them 18 inches diameter, and the remaining four - 12 inches) they reflected the light of tallow lamps.

The lighthouse of Memelis was lighted in 1796 on the 1st of September and it was the first lighthouse in the north-eastern Baltic coast. Only Danzig (1757) and Travemunde (1539) lighthouses were older. The coordinates 55o43‘36“N, 21o 4‘36“ E are marked on all charts. The lighthouse was not only low, but also the light source was very weak, the ships saw it just a half mile away (German mile - 7,5km) and only in good weather conditions. It looked like a full moon disk from the sea. Since then, the ships could enter the port during the dark.

The value of the port has changed since 1807 when Memelis became the temporary capital of Prussia and at the same time gained the title of the Royal sea city of trade.

In 1812 there was a ravelin filled next to the lighthouse and the sites were equipped for the cannons. Around the lighthouse there were planted some bushes and grass in order the wind wouldn’t blow the sand off.

In 1819 the lighthouse of Memelis was substantially renovated, it was raised 24 feet up. Stairs were set in tower, although they were in the annex before. A new, modern English lamp was equipped in the upper glazed part. It consisted of 13 cooper reflectors, polished with silver plates and covered with a parabolic reflector of 20 inches diameter, illuminated by 13 burning oil Arganda lamps. The light source was raised to 29.2 m. high (above the sea level). In good weather conditions ships could see it from 16 miles distance (over 30 km). The lighthouse was covered with copper hood roof and on it there was the lightning-conductor mast. Two keepers lived in the annex of lighthouse tower. The junction of stoned and glazed in the tower was surrounded by the gallery, which was based on the consoles. At first the outer walls of the lighthouse were plastered with lime, gravel and the grout of crushed bricks. It was painted in white. But even this plaster did not withstand the sea winds. Therefore in 1827 from the west side of the lighthouse the wall was bound with tin.

In 1874 the tower was started to paint in chequerwise with red and white squares that is why it was called the Red lighthouse. Not only the light kept burning here, but also more optical signals were equipped. For example, when port call was dangerous there was raised a red flag, and when it was safe - yellow. Flags were lit at night. Since 1913 the lighthouse was launched with pulsed light signals. There were also some other important equipments such as pilot tower, semaphore of winds and buoys for the port navigation.

The lighthouse of Memelis was not only a symbol of the city, but also a significant tourist attraction, from the tower you could admire the sea, harbor and city views. On the coastal road towards the lighthouse there were a popular city restaurant and guest house called “Strandvilla”.

In 1909 there were equipped two-story modern light lamps with Fresnel optics in Memelis and Piluva (Pillau-Baltiysk) lighthouses.

In 1923 on the 15th of January the port became a part of the Republic of Lithuania. Memelis was called by the name of Klaipėda

In 1933 there was equipped a radio station in the tower of the lighthouse.

In 1884 during the reconstruction of the port there was finally finished the construction of the northern breakwater and on the 16th of December at the end of the breakwater there was lit a red light in the so called Small or White lighthouse (it was depicted on 200 litas banknote). At the end of the southern breakwater for some time there was also a light signal. In 1927 in its place was built 7.35m high lighthouse (10 m above the sea level) and a green light was lighted.

The Second World War was merciless for Baltic lighthouses.

In 1945 in January Nazis blew up Klaipeda lighthouse. The White lighthouse and northern breakwater disappeared. In 1945 on the 30th of January Red Army soldiers raised a red flag in the southern breakwater lighthouse in Kopgalis.

The old lighthouse of Memelis left only genuine 4 m part of plinth building. In 1952 there was built a new, black-and-white striped tower of reinforced concrete.

Klaipeda lighthouse began to shine in 1953 on the 31st of January. Full high of the tower was 49 m above the sea level (light was in 45 m high). The signal made a 3 seconds break every 3 seconds and it was visible from 33 miles. Optical devices were made in 1950 in Russia's Gorky city. In Soviet times, the optics cost 75 thousand rubles. There was also a radio in the lighthouse, which was changed into the satellite navigation system in 1998.

In 1990 after the restoration of statehood in Republic of Lithuania, the maintenance of the lighthouse from the Russian military was taken over the Lithuanian Maritime Safety Administration.

In 2010 in the lighthouse there was equipped DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System) antenna operating at 500 km distance.

For three centuries the lighthouse of Klaipeda faithfully serves for the marines returning to port. (Aidas Jurkštas)

Denominations in numerals are in top right corner and lower. In words in lower right corner.


Designer: Rytis Valantinas.

Metallic security thread with denominations LTL 200.