The lev is the official currency of Bulgaria. The official currency symbol: лв. The term “lev” meant “lion” in old Bulgarian; the contemporary word for “lion” is luv. The name “stotinka” is derived from the word “sto”, which means “a hundred.” Four lev have been introduced in Bulgaria, the first was adopted in 1881, and the last, in current use, was adopted in 1999. During the adoption of the latter lev, and after a redenomination process, banknotes were introduced in the denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 leva, followed by the 100 leva notes in 2003. The 1 and 2 lev notes were eventually phased out of circulation and replaced with coins of comparable value.
The 1 Bulgaria lev note front design features a 1789 illustration of Saint Ivan of Rila (876 – c. 946) was the first Bulgarian hermit. Today he is honored as the patron saint of Bulgarians and one of the most important saints of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
The reverse of the note illustrates the Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila or Rila Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage Site), located in the Rila Mountains. The lettering of the note is presented in the Bulgarian language. This note is part of the 1999 series, and its color is red and blue on a yellow underprint.
Text: 1, 1999, ЕДИН ЛЕВА, Свети преподобни Йоан Рилски Чудотворец 876 – 946, БЪЛГАРСКА НАРОДНА БАНКА, покана на Беларус тили, УПРАВИТЕЛ, ГЛАВЕН КАСИЕР, За подправка Виновните се наказват съгласно закона, ЕДИН ЛЕВА, БЪЛГАРСКА НАРОДНА БАНКА, 1.