20zł BATTLE OF WARSAW 1920 banknote

11 August 2020. The National Bank of Poland issued a collector banknote - for the first time in vertical format - to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the great Polish victory over the Bolsheviks in the Battle of Warsaw.

20zł Bitwa Warszawska 1920 banknot

Miracle of the Vistula

The Battle of Warsaw was a turning point in the war with the Bolsheviks. Victory was hailed as a Miracle on the Vistula River and help in success was attributed to the care of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose feast of the Assumption fell on the climax of the struggle. The merits in terms of command should be attributed both to Commander-in-Chief Józef Piłsudski, Chief of Staff General Tadeusz Rozwadowski and General Władysław Sikorski - the commander of the 5th Army, Józef Hallerow - the commander of the Volunteer Army fighting in the foreground of Warsaw and Maxime Weygand. The victory was possible thanks to the unification of the nation and the sacrifice of the Polish soldiers holding back the Bolshevik invasion.

20zł Battle of Warsaw 1920 banknote

The front of the banknote shows the figure of Józef Piłsudski. The image was taken from Kazimierz Mańkowski's painting entitled "The image of Józef Piłsudski". "The year 1920". The Head of State is shown as the defender of Warsaw. In the background there are outlines of characteristic Warsaw buildings. The front side of the banknote is complemented by the inscription NIEPODLEGŁOŚĆ (Independence), inscribed in an oak leaf wreath, as well as graphic elements and plant motifs on the banknotes of Polish marks, including the image of the eagle and the Polish monogram on the banknote of 100 Polish marks from 1919.

20zł Bitwa Warszawska 1920 banknot

On the reverse side of the banknote, under the national colours, is the central fragment of Jerzy Kossak's painting entitled "Miracle of the Vistula". It depicts the priest Ignacy Skorupka, the leading soldier to attack.  The whole is completed with a commemorative medal for the war 1918-1921 and a fragment of the proclamation of the Government of National Defence "Homeland in Danger" from August 5, 1920.

20zł Bitwa Warszawska 1920 banknot


20zł Bitwa Warszawska 1920 banknot

The National Bank of Poland applies the most modern techniques to protect banknotes against counterfeiting. In addition to security, they also have a decorative function. The front side of the banknote is made of embossed gold foil from the year of the Battle of Warsaw, which forms the face value. Below is a typographic numbering, visible in UV light as well as in daylight. Under the influence of UV light, additional elements appear on the banknote. Next to Józef Piłsudski, there is an obverse of the Cross of Valour with an angular effect (other things appear at different angles). The Cross is placed on the background of the iris print. It is a protection of the print consisting in using smooth colour transitions with full ink coverage. Behind the marshal there is an image of the Old Town of Warsaw, composed of microtext. Their words are composed, among others, of "Our blood, our forces, our struggle for a dear homeland". - These are fragments of a proclamation sent to the Poles by Marshal Piłsudski, before the battle began. They are also the background for the year of the outbreak of the battle, which was covered with engraving paint giving the effect of protrusion. On the right side of the banknote, next to the word "Independence" a watermark was hidden. Below is an embossed element for the blind, and the face value is made of a multi-tonal element giving a convex effect.

20zł Bitwa Warszawska 1920 banknot

On the reverse side of the banknote, the denomination is covered with optically variable paint, which takes on different colours depending on the angle of light. Below is a relief with concave words "NBP" and the face value. To the left of the relief is the recto-verso element, i.e. the banknote is printed on both sides of the banknote, and the whole element is placed on microtext. The central part of the banknote is formed by a fragment of Jerzy Kossakowski's painting "Miracle on the Vistula", created from precise elements that make up the image. The lower part of the painting is decorated with an iridescent strip - a gold ornament visible in appropriate light. 


We encourage you to watch the video presenting the banknote in every detail, together with the blister.




Author: Izabela Lemańczyk