50 kuna

Published: 20/11/2002

Issue: 7 March 2002 (signature: Željko Rohatinski), released into circulation: 25 November 2002

Issue: 9 July 2012 (signature: Boris Vujčić), released into circulation: 25 September 2017

Size: 134 x 67 mm

Main colour: blue

Motif on the obverse: a portrait of Ivan Gundulić (1589-1638)

Ivan Gundulić was born in Dubrovnik in 1589. He performed various administrative and judicial duties in the Republic of Dubrovnik, and was Prince of Konavle. He was already considered a classic of Croatian literature in his own lifetime. In his most important work, the 20-canto knight-heroic epic "Osman", Gundulić described the violent rise to power of Sultan Osman II, the defeat of the Turkish army in 1621 at the Battle of Khotyn in Poland, the Janissaries uprising and the murder of Osman in Constantinople. The original manuscript is not preserved. The oldest known copy is by Nikola Ohmučević, dating from 1654 and is missing cantos 14 and 15. "Osman" is one of the few works of older Croatian literature to have been translated into Latin, Italian, Polish and Czech. Gundulić is also the author of a religious poem in three "laments", "Tears of the Prodigal Son" from 1622, a masterpiece of 17th century Croatian literature. His most famous play, a traditional pastoral titled "Dubravka", was first performed in 1628, and was imbued with additional political themes and meanings, primarily with the utopian Renaissance and Post-Renaissance concepts of the ideal state.

Motif on the reverse: the Old Town of Dubrovnik and the front of the Rector's Palace

The city of Dubrovnik grew from Ragusium, a 7th century settlement established by the inhabitants of the destroyed Epidaurus (today's Cavtat). From a medieval commune in 1358 it grew into the glorious Republic of Dubrovnik. Exceptional diplomatic skills sustained the Republic until  1808. This aristocratic republic's mediation in trade, shipping, shipbuilding, salt extraction, numerous crafts and finance provided one of the highest incomes in Europe. Its currency, which was greatly appreciated, was minted for 500 years in its own mint. The fundamental idea of its independence is best expressed in the motto on the entrance of the fortress Lovrijenac (St. Lawrence): "Liberty is not sold for all the gold in the world". During those 400 years, massive towers and two kilometre long walls were built to protect the city from attackers. To protect it from infectious diseases, field hospitals were built and quarantine was enforced for ships and passengers. In 1979, the city centre of Dubrovnik was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.

The Rector's Palace is a Gothic palace with Renaissance and Baroque reconstructions, first mentioned in 13th century records. At the time of the Dubrovnik Republic it was the governing and administrative centre, host to the Rector during his one-month mandate. It housed the halls of the Grand Council, the Small Council, the Senate Chamber, notary and administrative offices, courtrooms, prisons, the armoury, warehouses and the Rector's apartment. Above the entrance is an inscription in Latin, which says: "Forget the private, deal with state affairs" - a reminder that political and private interests, as well as ethical standards, must be subordinate to the welfare of the Dubrovnik Republic. Today, the Rector's Palace is one of the most representative monuments of secular architecture in Croatia.