The colorful banknotes of the Czech Republic feature the faces of renowned Czech figures who are known for their contributions to the Czech culture and identity. Czech crowns, known as Koruny in the Czech language, are the official currency of the Czech Republic. The banknotes of the Czech Republic come in values of 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 Kč.
The first banknotes were banknotes of First Czechoslovak Republic which were established in 1918. The First Czechoslovak Republic and its banknotes were the reaction to the unfortunate split of Czech lands and Slovakia. This was not welcome by the majority of citizens, but a product of a political decision by then Czechoslovak Premier Vaclav Klaus and Slovak Head Vladimir Meciar. There was no plebiscite or referendum, because those two knew that the public would never approve it.
The next banknotes were issued in 1993 for the Czech Republic and featured prominent Czech persons on one side and abstract compositions on the other.
The people featured on the banknotes include famous figures such as Tomáš Masaryk, the first Czech president, and Charles IV, the king of Bohemia. The reverse side of the banknotes feature intricate compositions of Czech buildings such as St. Vitus Cathedral and Charles University. The Coat of Arms of the Czech Republic is also featured on the reverse side of all Czech banknotes.
The people featured on the banknotes are well known for their achievements and contributions to the Czech culture and country.
100 Kč – Charles IV
Charles IV, who is featured on the 100 Kč banknote, was the king of Bohemia from 1346 to 1378. He is widely regarded as the father of the country and his reign is remembered as the Golden Age of Bohemia. Multiple institutions and monuments were named after the royal founder including the Charles Bridge, Charles University, and Charles Square. He was a patron of culture and the arts and under his reign the Czech lands experienced the heyday of High Gothic art.
200 Kč – John Amos Comenius
John Amos Comenius was a Czech philosopher and teacher and is widely considered the father of modern education. He played a large part in the advance in educational thought and practice, opening the doors to education for women, organizing several schools, and formulating the general theory of education. His birthday, March 28, is celebrated as Teacher’s day in the Czech Republic. To this day, Comenius is seen as a symbol of the Czech Nation. He is featured on the 200 Kč banknote.
500 Kč – Božena Němcová
Božena Němcová was a Czech writer of the Czech National Revival movement. Her most famous work Babička (English: The Grandmother) explores life in a rural Bohemian village and is considered a classic of Czech literature. She is also known for her efforts to collect and preserve both Czech and Slovak folk stories and fairy tales. Němcová is featured on the 500 Kč banknote beside a pink rose.
1000 Kč – František Palacký
František Palacký was a Czech historian known for his historical works and his political activism. He is considered one of the fathers of the nation along with Charles IV and Tomáš Masaryk. He is known for his involvement in the Czech National Revival which was a movement that focused on reviving Czech culture, language, and national identity. His image is featured on the 1000 Kč banknote.
2000 Kč – Emmy Destinn
Emmy Destinn, whose image is featured on the 2000 Kč banknote, was an opera singer born in Prague in the 19th century. She was internationally known for her beautiful voice and became a very successful singer. In addition to singing, she also wrote poetry, plays, and novels; though none of these other vocations rivaled her reputation as an opera singer.
5000 Kč – Tomáš Masaryk
Tomáš Masaryk was the founder and first president of Czechoslovakia. He is regarded by the Czech people as George Washington is regarded by the American people. There are many statues and plaques commemorating him throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia. During World War I he helped to establish the Czechoslovak Legion, a volunteer armed forces which fought against the Austrians. He is considered a symbol of democracy to this day.
*Special thanks to Lubomir Novotny of CzechEvents.net for his corrections to this post.