An important role in the fields of economic education and historical and cultural heritage is played by the Money Museum, which is based in the heart of Vilnius in the Bank of Lithuania buildings complex.
The Museum opened its doors in 1999. Today it’s situated in the very centre of Vilnius at the intersection of Gediminas Avenue and Totorių Street. Here, in five halls over two storeys visitors can be introduced to the history of world money and banking, Lithuanian money, development of banking in our country since the emergence of the first credit institutions to the present day.
The modern Money Museum not only provides visitors with the possibility to view the valuable exhibits and get acquainted with the information provided on the stands, but to actively participate in the cognitive process as well. By virtue of interactive training, the observer becomes a participant who can strike a souvenir plate for themselves, use a special scale to weigh themselves, and find out one’s price if they were made of gold, platinum or silver. And this is far from all the Museum offers. Virtual expositions, thematic films, games, specialised internet access—all this is available on computer terminals with touch screens. The Museum’s multilayer exposition, which combines the rich history of money and the topical issues of today’s economic life, offers interesting information for everyone.
In this hall visitors are introduced to the development of world money from its primitive forms—grain, cowrie shells, furs, amber—to electronic money. The exposition is grouped by easily understandable and memorable themes, and presents the key stages in the history of money. In the centre of the exposition, ancient coin hoards and jewellery articles with coins are exhibited. The improvised mint is like a journey in time, introducing different coinage technologies. The primitive coinage tools come to life in the hands of a recreated 15th century coiner; modern coin production processes are demonstrated on screens installed right there. In this hall also installed is an interactive scale which translates the human body’s weight into gold or another metal’s weight, and calculates the person’s value in the currency of his choice.
The hall presents the development of banking in Lithuania since the emergence of the first credit institutions to the present day. The exhibits, information stands and documentary materials displayed on the showcases reveal the role of the Bank of Lithuania in different historical periods and moments significant for the national economy—while pushing through the 1922 money reform, stabilising the country’s financial and credit market during the years of global economic crisis. The collapse of national banking after Lithuania’s occupation by the Soviet Union in 1940 is also covered. The virtual exposition “Money in Lithuania 1914–1945” reveals the political, economic and financial situation in the country during this period. A weary visitor can take a seat at a cashier’s table standing right there in the museum, the same as was used in the Bank during the interwar period.
In this hall visitors are presented the banknotes and coins used today in different countries. While viewing the circulation banknotes of different countries exhibited in special drawers, on the video wall one can see different information about a selected country. A lot of attention is also devoted to the Bank of Lithuania, among the major functions of which is the issue of currency. The exhibits displayed on the showcases tell about the production of modern Lithuanian currency, the information posters cover the history of the Bank of Lithuania from its establishment to the present day. The security features of litas banknotes are presented as well. Using the installed UV detector, visitors are able to verify the authenticity of the banknotes in their wallet.
In the Lithuanian Money Hall one can view the coins of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Republic of Lithuania and other territories that have been in circulation in our territory. Here, the commemorative coins of the Republic of Lithuania are also exhibited, and on the pull-out stands the banknotes used in our territory from the late18th century to the present are displayed. The information posters highlight two stages in the issue of Lithuanian money—the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Republic of Lithuania. On a TV screen, documentaries about the creation of Lithuanian coins and banknotes are demonstrated non-stop. On the computer terminals one can find all virtual products of the Money Museum, use specialised internet access and check one’s knowledge acquired at the Museum. Having completed all the test questions the visitor wins a prize—a souvenir banknote with a portrait of themselves.
This hall is for educational events and specialised thematic expositions. Currently it houses an exhibition “The Return of Lost Valuables”. It presents the silver jewellery articles that the Bank of Lithuania acquired from precious metals buying centres at the time of the restoration of Lithuania’s independence with the aim of using the depreciating roubles and protecting valuables from being taken away to Moscow.
Totoriu g. 2/8, Vilnius, Lithuania
April 1–October 31
Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–19 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m.–18 p.m.
November 1–March 31
Tuesday–Friday, 9 a.m.–18 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m.–17 p.m.
Visitor consultation and advance registration for excursions, teaching and educational events is on weekdays by telephone +370 5 268 0334 or email muzi...@lb.lt, specifying visitor age group, requested theme of excursion, contact information, etc.
For groups organized on Saturdays, excursions are not made. Only isolated visitors are introduced to the exposition.