Hungary – 800th anniversary of the proclamation of the Golden Bull

Hungary - 800th anniversary of the proclamation of the Golden Bull

The Golden Bull is a charter with a golden seal issued by King Andrew II of Hungary at the diet of Székesfehérvár in 1222. This was the first document establishing the constitutional rights of the country’s nobility. A clause granting the nobility the right to resist the king without committing treason if he acted contrary to the law guaranteed that the monarch abided by the provisions of the Bull. All seven originals have been lost, but the text survives in many sources. The Golden Bull, together with its subsequent impact, is one of the pillars of the development of the Hungarian constitution and the emergence of parliamentarism. This charter of liberties, later often cited as the basis of the rights of the estates, was an important milestone in the history of Hungarian law as it limited royal power and guaranteed the rights and privileges of the nobility. Its determining influence lasted for centuries. With the passage of time, the laws of later ages derived from it extended to the whole of Hungarian society. The charter takes its name from the royal seal of authentication, i.e. the bull, which hangs on it. The pendent golden seal has a design on both sides, the front showing the figure of the king seated on the throne, holding a fleur-de-lys tipped sceptre in his right hand and an orb surmounted by a cross in his left. The monarch, flanked on either side by the sun and moon, symbols of the universe, wears an open fleur-de-lys crown. On the reverse of the seal is a shield with seven bars. In the raised, even fields are figures of lions.
The central part of the souvenir sheet shows Béla Kontuly’s fresco secco, Andrew II – The Proclamation of the Golden Bull (Hungart © 2022), which adorns the wall of the main hall of the City Hall in Székesfehérvár. The composition is completed by the front and reverse of the golden seal of Andrew II and a detail of the charter. The fresco secco appears on the souvenir sheet’s commemorative first day cover and the postmark is a stylised drawing of the front the seal.

  • Issued on: 24 June 2022
  • Face value/selling price:
    HUF 1,200 (On the date of issue, this can be used as a supplementary denomination.)
  • Printing technique: offset
  • Number of copies: 50,000 black numbered perforated souvenir sheets
  • Perforated size: 40 x 30 mm
  • External imperforated size of souvenir sheet: 160 x 88 mm
  • Paper type: White, wood-free, surface-treated, gummed stamp paper with optical whitener
  • Printed by Pénzjegynyomda Zrt. (souvenir sheet); Codex Zrt. (FDC)
  • Source: National Archives of Hungary (seals and charter)
  • Photos by Erika Simon
  • Designed by Barnabás Baticz