Banknote Index



Braunschweig History

Braunschweig has an unproven foundation date, but legend has it that it was a merger of two settlements. One founded by a saxon count Bruno II about 861 and the other founded by Count Dankward. Castle Dankwarderode, which still survives was named after him.
The names Bruno and Wik (a place where merchants rested and stored goods) were joined to form the town's original name of Brunswik.
In 1142 the Duke Henry the Lion became Duke of Saxony and made Braunschweig the capital of his state. The Duke developed the city further to represent his authority which included building the cathedral.
From the thirteenth to the middle of the seventeenth century Braunschweig was a member of the Hanseatic League. This League maintained a trade monopoly along the coast from the Baltic to the North Sea and was comprised of an alliance between trading cities and their guilds. It provided them with their protection, mutual aid and legal system.

Braunschweig, Germany

City of Braunschweig
Braunschweig Coat of Arms

In 1806, Braunschweig was captured by the French during the Napoleonic wars and became part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807. In 1815, following the Congress of Vienna, Braunschweig became the capital of the re-established independent Duchy of Brunswick which later became a constituent state of the German Empire from 1871.
Following World War 1, numerous elections were held and there were a number of changes in government until eventually in December 1921 the Free State of Brunswick (parliamentary republic within the Weimer Republic) was established with Braunschweig as its capital.
Braunschweig is the city where Adolph Hitler gained German citizenship; the Braunschweig State Government employed him in February 1932, which allowed him to become a German citizen. Braunschweig ultimately lost statehood when it fell under Nazi rule. After World War 2, the Free State of Brunswick was dissolved by Allied authorities and most of its lands were incorporated into the newly formed state of Lower Saxony.
Today Brauschweig has a population of approximately 250,000 people and is the second largest city in Lower Saxony. It is a major European location for science and research with three universities and a variety of federal agencies and research institutions.
Braunschweig Flag

Braunschweig Market

Map, Flag and Coat of Arms and City images from

Braunschweig Notgeld

A fabled jester figure of the fourteenth century was the idea for some of the Braunschweig notgeld notes.
Legend has it that Till Eulenspiegal was born in Kneitlingen just outside Brunswik (later Braunschweig) and died in 1350 at Mölln, Schleswig-Holstein of the Black Death. A gravestone is attributed to him in Mölln and this was noted by Fynes Moryson in his Itinerary during 1591. He became a German folk hero in the fourteenth century.
A book first printed around 1510 AD called "Ein kurzweiliges Buch von Till Eulenspiegel aus dem Lande Braunschweig" or "An entertaining book about Till Eulenspiegel from the land of Braunschweig" has been one of the most popular German books and has been translated into many other languages. The book tells of Till the clown, a peasant trickster in a series of farcical tales. The stories are about a stupid but cunning individual who gets back at society through jokes and pranks that are often brutal, generally silly and sometimes obscene. He shows his superiority and contempt to corrupt and condescending town authorities including the church. His character has featured in musical and literary works down through the centuries.
Tale 61 tells of Tills work for a master Baker. One evening his employer jokingly tells Till that he should bake owls and long tailed monkeys. Till fills the bakery with bread shaped like those two animals and his master is furious; he makes Till pay for the dough and dismisses him. Till takes the bread he has made in their animal shapes back to Braunschweig where he sells it for more money than he had to pay the Baker. Some of the owl series of Notgeld notes of Braunschweig emanate from these tales.

Notgeld Featuring Till By Braunschweig

Notgeld Featuring Till (Printed by Kneitlingen near Braunschweig )

More banknotes for Braunschweig and Till can be seen here