The design of the euro banknotes of the first series

On the front of both series of euro banknotes, windows and doorways are shown. They symbolise the European spirit of openness and cooperation. The bridges on the back symbolise communication between the people of Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world.

50eurofr   50eurore

The windows, doorways and bridges shown on the banknotes are stylised illustrations, not images of, or from, actual constructions. Other design elements are:

  • the name of the currency - euro - in both the Latin (EURO) and the Greek (EYPΩ) alphabets for the first series; the Europa series has the name also in the Cyrillic alphabet (EBPO);
  • Initials of the European Central Bank in five linguistic variants - BCE, ECB, EZB, EKT and EKP for the first series andin nine linguistic variants for the second series:

BCE: French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish
ECB: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Latvian, Lithuanian, Slovak, Slovene, Swedish
ЕЦБ: Bulgarian
EZB: German
EKP: Estonian, Finnish
EKT: Greek
EKB: Hungarian
BĊE: Maltese
EBC: Polish

  • the symbol © indicating copyright protection; and
  • the EU flag.


Each banknote bears the signature of either Willem F. Duisenberg, Jean-Claude Trichet or Mario Draghi – the first, second and third Presidents of the European Central Bank respectively. These banknotes are all equally valid.


Willem F. Duisenberg


Jean-Claude Trichet


Mario Draghi


Map of Europe

The banknotes show a geographical representation of Europe.

Country codes on the first series of banknotes

The central bank that commissioned the printing of a banknote (but not necessarily the country of printing) is indicated by a letter or country code preceding the serial number, as shown here:


Serial numbers on the Europa series of banknotes

The serial numbers on this series are the two numbers printed on the back of the banknote: a horizontal number printed in black and a vertical number printed in a different colour.

The horizontal number comprises two letters and ten digits. The first letter identifies the printing works – see the list . The second letter has no particular meaning; it simply makes more serial numbers possible.

Find out more about euro banknotes

See also
  • Link to the ECB website :