Previous coin
5 hryvnia 2008 - Cernăuți - 600 years from the first mentioning of the city
Next coin
35 mm diameter, 16.54 g, german silver (a silvery copper-nickel-zinc alloy), reeded edge
Obverse: the small coat of arms of Ukraine, inscription "NATZIONALINYI BANK UKRAINI 5 GRIVENI" (with Cyrillic letters) meaning "NATIONAL BANK OF UKRAINE 5 HRYVNIA", year 2008, under the year the logotype of NBU. At left lies a motif with rhombic ornaments inspired from the motif used for the roof of the University of Cernăuți, at right a lantern from the times of the Austrian rule.
Reverse: inscription "CHERNIVTSI 600 ROKIV" (with Cyrillic letters) meaning "CERNĂUȚI 600 YEARS", the Ukrainian coat of arms of the city, four old buildings in Cernăuți

Mintage: 45.000 coins

This coin was issued by the National Bank of Ukraine for the celebration of 600 years from the first mentioning of Cernăuți (German name: Czernowitz; Ukrainian name: Chernivtsi). The coin belongs to the "Old Cities of Ukraine" series.

This coin appears on Romanian coins because Cernăuți belonged to the Principality of Moldavia for several hundred years (since the foundation of the principality) and because the town was one of the greatest Romanian cultural centers. The town of Cernăuți is linked to the name of the greatest Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu: the poet lived and learned here for several years.

About the commercial privilege granted by Alexander the Good to the merchants of Lviv

Although it surely is a much older settlement, Cernăuți was mentioned for the first time in 1408, in the charter granted by the Moldavian ruler Alexander the Good to the merchants of Lviv (Romanian name: Liov; Polish name: Lwow; Russian name: Lvov; German name: Lemberg). This commercial treaty settled the crossing customs that the merchants of Liov should have been paying at Cernăuți and the taxes at the destination cities. They also had to pay customs when leaving Moldavia. The custom quanta depended on the quality of the goods. For the goods leaving Moldavia the quanta depended on the destination country. For the merchants shipping goods to Tartarians, the customs had to be paid at Cetatea Albă or at Tighina. (Alexandru Boldur, Istoria Basarabiei - History of Basarabia, first edition printed in 1937 at Chișinău)

At that time Moldavia exported livestock (oxen, cows, horses, sheep, pigs), rawhides and tanned leathers, fox and squirrel furs. Several merchandises - good Moldavian horses, marten furs, silver - were under the monopoly of the ruler.

Moldavia imported manufactured goods: cloths (caps, trousers) and fabrics, footwear, weapons, and exotic goods, called "Tartarian goods" because they came from the East: silk, pepper, incense, sweet Greek wine. Several goods only passed through Moldavia, being sold in other countries.

About the buildings on the coin reverse

The four buildings represented on the coin are, from left to right:
- the roman catholic church "Sanctified Heart of Jesus" (1894); in the Soviet period the city archive was moved there;
- the ship-house, placed at the intersection between the main street (Hauptstrasse, today Golovna) and Shalom-Alehem street;
- the city hall;
- the former metropolitan residence, nowadays belonging to the Faculty of Theology; in this building the Romanian National Council organized the General Congress of Bucovina that voted on November 15th - old style / November 28th - new style "Unconditional and eternal Union of Bucovina in its old boundaries over to Ceremuș, Colacin and Nistru, with the Kingdom of Romania".

About the Romanian coat of arms of Cernăuți, between WWI and WWII

The Official Gazette number 171 from August 2nd 1930 shows that the coat of arms of the city of Cernăuți is a silver stronghold with two squared towers. The windows of the stronghold are black. Into the stronghold's porch lies an aurochs head with star between horns and flanked by rose and crescent. Above the stronghold lies a golden rose. The shield is adorned with a silver mural crown with seven crenulated towers.

The stronghold represented on the coat of arms is the old Țețina fortress near Cernăuți. Abandoned somewhere in the 15th century, the fortress does not exists nowadays. The construction stones were used by the Austrian authorities for erecting buildings in Cernăuți. The ruins of the last tower were destroyed during the Soviet occupation of the region.

The aurochs head shows that Cernăuți is an old Moldavian town.


Back to selection page!