Tag: Belgian franc

1000 francs for the Battle of the Yser

The Belgian banknote has always been the nation’s ambassador. At its very beginning national allegories decorated the note, later on they were replaced by royals and only the latter series made room for Belgian historical or cultural figures. By doing so the iconographic field became much larger for the latter series.

Magritte for a mere 500 francs

The 500 francs Magritte type, issued 16th April 1998, was the last new note of a series that started some 147 years ago. 1998 was also the first centenary of Magritte’s birthday. To commemorate this Belgian surrealist artist the Brussels Museum of Fine Arts organised an exhibition with no less than 335 pieces out of his vast body of work.

The oldest Belgian paper money (1837-1850)

In 1830 Belgium was the most industrialised country on the continent. In the period 1830-1848 a very small number of banks financed the Belgian industrial revolution. Each of them had the right to issue paper money.

An unusual postcard

We present you a postcard depicting one of Belgium’s former finance ministers: Camille Gutt (1884-1971). Many people still remember him on account of the post World War II currency reform with which his name is linked: the Gutt operation. But that was not the only remarkable achievement in his long and full career.

1851: The first-born notes of the National Bank

Nowadays, the National Bank of Belgium is the only financial institution authorized to print banknotes in Belgium. However, this has not always been the case. During the first half of the 19th century several banks put their own notes in circulation. The Bank which was founded by law of 5 May 1850 issued its first series in 1851.

First centenary: time for innovation

The design of the euro banknotes depicts the architectural styles of seven periods in Europe’s cultural history. Compared to the former notes of the member states of the euro area which can be regarded as glorious portrait galleries, the euro notes no longer depict portraits from famous persons of the euro area. Questions that might have given rise to discussion were, amongst others: who? males? females? what nationality? In the 20th century the portrait became one of the main motifs of the Belgian notes.

The Belga

Let’s have a look at this ingenious banknote. Its designer is Constant Montald (1862-1944), a symbolistic artist, who created this banknote in 1929.

Henri Beyaert (1823-1894)

Henri Beyaert was one of the most influential architects that Belgium has ever known. With prestigious projects such as the Petit Sablon park and the Concert Noble in Brussels or Tournai station, he became decidedly famous. However, the reason for this portrait lies in his designs for the National Bank, especially the Bank’s Hotel in Brussels, the building in which the museum is housed, and the Antwerp branch of the Bank, depicted next to him on the banknote.