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 20 Bulgarian leva note front design features the portrait of Desislava of Bulgaria, who was the daughter of Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria (also known as John Alexander, ruled as Emperor (Tsar) of Bulgaria from 1331 to 1371) and his second wife Theodora (Empress of Bulgaria during the Second Bulgarian Empire), followed by a two stylized lion’s seal.

The reverse of the note illustrates Boyana Church (UNESCO World Heritage Site), a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church located in Sofia (capital), followed by three stylized seals of a lion, a bird, and a dragon. The lettering of the note is presented in the Bulgarian language. This note is part of the 1991 series, and its color is blue-black and blue-green on a light blue underprint.