The National Bank of Romania Printing Works

Imprimeria BNR - Istorie

According with its founding law in 17/29 April 1880, the National Bank of Romania received the exclusive right for issuing currency. The first banknote printing equipment was bought form Paris in the same year. 


– 1881 –

The 20, 100 and 1000 lei banknotes started to be printed in the Printing house.

The first banknote issued by the National Bank of Romania printed in Bucharest was “20 lei” – “Doue Dieci Lei”.

In addition to banknotes, the Printing house also printed other types of documents issued by the state authorities such as stocks and shares.

– 1889 –

The printing activity premises were changed to another space specially designed in the National Bank of Romania Palace in 25 Lipscani street, Bucharest.


– 1896 –

The first Romanian banknote was printed using two colours.

– 1915 –

Notes with nominal value of 1 leu and 2 lei were printed in order to compensate the absence of coins during First World War.

– 1924 –

The printing premises were extended in Smardan street headquarters and new printing machines, numbering and cutting machines were bought.

– 1929 –

After monetary stabilization, new “100 lei” banknotes were printed on ramia paper support, having 5 watermark elements.

– 1937 –

A part of the watermark paper used for the National Bank of Romania banknotes started to be purchased from the Romanian manufactory Letea (Bacau).


– 1943 –

The paper used for 2.000 lei banknotes printing had in its structure, besides watermark, coloured fibres for higher security.

– 1947 –

The highest nominal value banknote issued in Romania, of 5.000.000 lei, started to be printed.

The monetary reform took place and after stabilization, the new banknotes started to be printed in the National Bank of Romania Printing Works, in offset system. Two new machines from Switzerland and a set of equipment from Marvan Typography were brought. The banknotes were made on offset print.

– 1950 –

The taille-douce technique was introduced. This system, although superior from a technical point of view, involves very high production cost and it has been used only until the monetary reform in 1952.

– 1952 –

After the monetary reform, new banknotes were issued by ”Banca Republicii Populare Romana – Banca de stat”. New banknotes were printed in offset system, on watermark paper produced in Romania.

The Note Printworks Unit was created, operating under ”wise management” principle. This structure had 189 employees (139 workers and 50 technical and administrative employees), with the following workshops: photo reproduction, galvanoplasty, printing, finishing, chemical analysis, value verification, maintenance.


– 1953 –

The Note and Stamps Enterprise was founded, by merging the Note Printworks Unit with the postal stamp printing sector, with headquarters on 28 Fabrica de Chibrituri street. The new enterprise had been taken over by the Ministry of Finance.

– 1957 –

The Note Printworks Unit was taken out of the tutelage of Finance Ministry and transmitted to Banca Republicii Populare Romana – Banca de stat. Thereby, the State Bank Printing Works was founded, with the premises on 2 Smardan street starting with 1958.

– 1966 –

New banknotes of 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 lei were printed with the new official name of the state “Republica Socialista Romania”.

The Printing Works has had, in that period, around 300 employees.

– 1985 –

The Bank Printing Works merged with the Stamp Factory (until 1991).

– 1991 –

The National Bank of Romania Printing Works was founded by government decision, operating by economic management and financial autonomy under the authority of the National Bank of Romania.

The new 500 lei banknote was printed by the Printing Works specialists, being the first issued by the National Bank of Romania after the 1989 Revolution. Later, other types of banknotes were put into circulation, printed entirely in the Printing Works, on offset print: 200 lei, 500 lei, 1000 and 5000 lei.

– 2001 –

National Bank of Romania Printing Works was the first printing house in Europe who produced banknotes on polymer support. 


– 2007 –

National Bank of Romania Printing Works inaugurated its new headquarters, having the infrastructure, machinery, equipment and the security systems that allow printing banknotes and specific documents, complying with the highest quality standards.

– 2011 –

The Printing Works designed and printed an anniversary note dedicated to Eugeniu Carada, in order to celebrate 130 years from the first print of a banknote issued by the NBR.

– 2018 –

The collector banknote dedicated to 100 years since the Great Union on 1 December 1918 was printed, with King Ferdinand and Queen Mary on the foreground.


– 2019 –

The collector banknote dedicated to the Completion of the Great Union – Ion I.C. Bratianu was printed, having on the obverse the portrait of the great politician.

– 2021 –

The banknote with the nominal value of 20 lei was printed, the first banknote with circulation power on which a female personality is present: Ecaterina Teodoroiu.

To mark the 140th anniversary of the printing in Bucharest of the first banknote issued by the National Bank of Romania, the anniversary banknote, intended for collectors, was printed on polymer support, according to the first 20 lei banknote issued in 1881.

140 Years Anniversary Banknote

An anniversary note was created at the BNR Printing Office, that integrates in a unique way a series of graphic elements from Romanian banknotes printed over time.

The anniversary note brings to the fore the building where the first machines were installed and the first Romanian banknotes were printed in Bucharest, next to the current BNR Printing House building.